Our second day working with IDE Nicaragua was spent traveling around the Rivas area of Nicaragua visiting banana farms that were implementing several different types of IDE’s irrigation products. Our driver, Antonio, who deals with product marketing and sales was an amazing guide and by the end of the trip we all found ourselves saying that the day was about 20% work and 80% guided tour. Along with making sure we had safe and accurate travels to the farms (Nicaragua lacks specific addresses and in one case we were told the directions were to turn when you see the white horse), Antonio made sure to stop or travel slightly further if there was an opportunity to tell us about something historic or interesting about Nicaragua and/or it’s people.
Our first stop was the banana farm of Don Felix Hernandez. The most interesting aspect of his farm that I took away was that only a small portion of his entire farm was utilizing IDE’s irrigation tools (as his farm is a demonstration site for IDE Nicaragua) and the difference in plant size was between the two areas was amazing. The area utilizing the irrigation tools had plants with sizes at least double that of the area without the tools.
Our second stop was Finca iDEal, which is IDE’s largest demonstration site (also the one where you turn at the white horse) and often they can be found testing different types of products from water storage to sprinkler systems. After a short break for lunch we made our way back toward Managua and stopped at a partner organization called Opportunity International. This organization was working with IDE in the testing phase of a cheaper type of irrigation system called a button emitter system. Here they had set up a small model farm and were testing the effectiveness of the button emitters compared to the tube emitters. This is currently the only “farm” in Nicaragua utilizing this new system.