As a leader in water-efficient drip irrigation for the agricultural market, Toro has partnered with government agencies, NGOs and smallholder farmers in Haiti, Mozambique, Guatemala, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and other developing countries to promote sustainable agricultural practices, improve crop yields, and build thriving communities.
As part of our Land. Water. Thrive. initiative, we look to further expand our efforts to enrich the lives of rural families in the developing world by enabling smallholder farmers to enhance the productivity of the land and drive sustainable solutions to ensure a more food-secure future. Through this effort, we will work to equip low-income farmers with improved irrigation technologies to better manage their limited water resources, and enrich growing conditions and crop yields – particularly in areas of frequent drought.
Learning by Doing
For The Toro Company, our purpose is to help our customers enrich the beauty, productivity, and sustainability of the land. For the smallholder farmer in rural Honduras, the land and what they grow is critical to their survival. Like many other Latin American countries, Honduras has fertile land that the people depend on for agriculture, but crop production is inefficient. They grow corn, beans and other crops for the sole purpose of feeding their families, but lack the resources and infrastructure to do so effectively and productively. Coupled with the ongoing threat of drought and unreliable water sources, farmers and their communities are being challenged every day to sustain their way of life. In partnership with iDE, The Toro Company is actively working to help smallholder farmers in Honduras to develop drip irrigation and water storage solutions that are affordable, sustainable, and meet the needs of growers and their communities. This starts with understanding the watering practices and concerns of smallholder farmers and how that impacts their production.
In partnership with iDE, The Toro Company is actively working to help smallholder farmers in Honduras to develop drip irrigation and water storage solutions that are affordable, sustainable, and meet the needs of growers and their communities. This starts with understanding the watering practices and concerns of smallholder farmers and how that impacts their production.
“I am hopeful that organizations, like iDE and The Toro Company, can make a difference in the lives of these smallholder farmers. Farming is what they do on a daily basis, it’s what they live for, and it is at the core of who they are as people.”
- Orion Goe, Marketing Manager, Toro Irrigation
Participating in a week-long immersion experience in southern Honduras,employees from six locations of The Toro Company were active participants in iDE’s approach to Human-Centered Design, which is built around the need to Hear, Create and Deliver. This philosophy and mindset guided the team in their interactions with farmers to identify the challenges, motivations and barriers faced by the smallholder farmer as it relates to water and their agricultural practices before attempting to suggest solutions.
The team was selected based on their diverse skillsets and an open mind toward problem solving. Through classroom work and time in the field interviewing farmers, the team gained a deep understanding of the challenges faced in accessing water and how farmers could benefit from sharing water as a community.Nonetheless, the resounding message was that smallholder farmers do not have access to enough water.
Participants experienced a challenging and rewarding development opportunity that enabled them to grow as employees and build relationships with colleagues. Key learnings included how to incorporate Human-Centered Design thinking into daily work with internal and external stakeholders, the nonprofit sector is making a positive impact on the lives of farmers, and there is a lasting effect of connecting and learning with people from other cultures.
The Toro Company is committed to engaging employees in addressing the water challenges smallholder farmers face, and continuing to help in the ideation of solutions to real problems faced by farmers in Honduras.
“I am incredibly proud to work for an organization that values giving back to communities and decided to do this in a way that went beyond giving money, to also involve employees in a learning experience.”
Monica Smith, Director of HR and Employee Development