Page 20 - Mosaic Sustainability Report 2012

The Mosaic Company, 2012 Sustainability Report
The Mosaic Villages Project in Alta Verapaz,
Guatemala, has grown since its inception in 2008
in both scale and success. The combination
of a strong implementing par tner with deep
knowledge of the region in HELPS International
and the exper tise of the Mosaic agronomy staf f
has yielded impressive results in just four years.
The projects have drawn the interest of other
aid organizations as a possible scaleable model
for Central America. Formal measurement was
necessar y to provide a quantitative perspective
to help take the projects to the next level. An
independent evaluation by Deloit te confirmed
that average yields have reached four metric
tonnes per hectare (MT/ha) compared with
MT/ha before the program began,
representing a five-fold increase.
This has been achieved through the
following steps:
Soils are tested to understand their overall
health, and a balanced blend of macro- and
micronutrients is designed, along with a
prescribed amount and time to apply (4Rs).
The farmers are trained in no-till agriculture to
reduce the risk of pests, to grow in dense rows
and double crop to maximize yields and reduce
the need for farm chemicals, and not to burn
the crop residues, in order to maximize the
organic mat ter in soil.
This is a par tnership, and the farmers choose to
use their heirloom corn seed over more high-
per forming varieties, as they are seen as sacred
in their Mayan traditions. But once their corn
yields for personal consumption increase, they
sometimes conver t par t of their land to cash
crops for sale.