Acceso El Salvador – Jamie Torres, Agricultural Engineer
Jaime Torres has enjoyed a long career in agriculture, having worked on development projects with organizations including USAID and Fomilenio (Millennium Challenge Corporation), along with cultivating his own fruits and vegetables in both open and protected farming conditions. Although he previously knew about CGEP’s goal to support agricultural production in El Salvador, it wasn’t until he received a call from the general manager of Acceso encouraging him to apply for the agricultural director position, that he really considered working with Acceso. Having occupied the role for more than two years now, Jaime is content with his decision and finds his work to be personally gratifying.
“What I like the most is seeing the satisfaction that producers and Acceso team members feel from achieving the goal of having excellent quality products, and being able to compete with other imported products by substituting them with our national products. In addition, (I like) seeing how producers are achieving progress and improving their living conditions through the incomes they receive.”
Jamie’s wide range of experience is perfectly suited for his role that encompasses a variety of tasks from coordinating the implementation of Acceso’s agricultural development model, to approving producers to become Acceso partners (suppliers), to making weekly visits to numerous farms to supervise Acceso’s agricultural technicians. What Jaime emphasizes about Acceso’s work is that farmers are not gifted anything. Instead, they are given the necessary resources to produce and sell their crops in the most efficient way possible. According to Jaime, the farmers themselves believe that this creates the most significant outcomes for them.
While Jaime notes that crime and, at times, the unpredictable climate can cause difficulties for farmers in El Salvador, he is extremely optimistic concerning the future of Acceso.
“In five years I hope we find ourselves working with new types of products apart from fruits, vegetables, and seafood, in new regions of the country, and producing not only for national sale, but possibly exporting as well.”
Although Jaime has many years of experience, regarding his professional life he says, “I want to keep learning more each day, to share with the younger professionals the knowledge I have acquired, and to find new challenges that make me work even harder.”