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Nicaraguan exports, livelihoods spiced up with Tabasco chili


In one year, Nicaragua has almost doubled its Tabasco chili exports to McIlhenny Company, makers of the famous Tabasco sauce. Thanks to the technical and market linkages assistance provided by USAID’s Enterprise and Employment (E&E, managed by CARANA), exports have increased by $1.6 million and 200 jobs have been created since 2009.

Watch E&E’s film on Tabasco chili producers:

E&E is working with lead firm Chiles de Nicaragua to strengthen the Tabasco chili value chain. The company has an agreement with 206 small producers to buy their product at a stable price and then sell it to the American buyer. The project helped train 364 producers in good growing and harvesting practices.

Among the beneficiaries were longtime farmers Juan Huerta and his family, featured in the film. Income from their usual crops (onions, bell peppers, tomato) fluctuated due to the ups and down of Nicaragua’s national market. But production of Tabasco chili has finally brought stability and prosperity to his family. Now workers are certain they will have food on their tables and even have the means to send their children to school. Furthermore, creation of new jobs with a stable income will reduce migration of Nicaraguan workers to pick coffee in Costa Rica.

E&E has also worked in the mini-vegetable value chain. Learn more about that here:

Published December 2010