Since our agenda was full of opportunities, we began today as three groups to cover as much ground as possible.
The first group traveled back down from the Cusmapa area to the outskirts of Managua.
The second and third groups met with a local distributor to discuss market opportunities for soy proteins in Nicaragua. We agreed to work together in several efforts, including technical trainings. This distributor also agreed to serve as the consignee and warehouse partner for the donated container of textured soy protein from Cargill.
The second group then traveled from Managua out towards the countryside to visit a volcano and meet Group 1 for lunch.
The third group met with World Food Programme and USAID for fruitful meetings discussing their various programs and exploring ways to work together.
In the late afternoon, all three groups met at a high school supported by the Fabretto Children's Foundation. Here, we were treated to a beautiful musical performance and presentations from students participating in the agricultural classes. We were all very inspired by their enthusiasm and dedication to their studies. The Fabretto team then gave us a tour of their teaching farm, which included pineapples, avocados, and chickens.
We then returned to the hotel and had a short time to get ready for our closing dinner. We were joined at the dinner by representatives from the USDA FAS office and by two local processors. It was hard to believe we were coming to the completion of our journey in Central America. It was a fantastic group to travel with. We had representatives from the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, the World Soy Foundation, grower leaders from the Illinois Soybean Association, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Kansas Soybean Commission, the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, the Nebraska Soybean Board, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the Illinois Soybean Association Soy Ambassadors, along with the NSRL team.
Thank you to everyone for all of your efforts in making this trip such a good experience. We look forward to the next one, as well as to returning to Guatemala and Nicaragua in May.