Adolfo was first introduced to vanilla work through the partnership project between ERFA and Mary Mackillop Today. As a vanilla worker, Adolfo begins his day in the early morning before the sun has risen. He attends to his vanilla crops by meticulously trimming and weeding every crop. This intricate process was taught to him in training sessions conducted by fellow vanilla farmers, including two Field Based Officers, Pedro and Cirilo. As experts within the vanilla industry, Pedro and Cirilo visit Adolfo’s field once a month, to answer any questions, provide training on various vanilla planting topics, check for pests and also assist with monitoring the vanilla’s progress. The Vanilla Farmers Group, sponsored by ERFA and Mary Mackillop Today, provides Adolfo and other farmers with support and the opportunity to learn from each other in what can be a strenuous industry.
“I am really thankful for such a great support from MMT’s officers who dedicate their time and knowledge on how to plan the vanilla trees. They continue to support my family and I, and they also look after our group in Railaco-Leten.”
“I am so happy and thankful for ERFA who provided us vanilla seeds and funded MMT for education, supervision and for monitoring us – teaching us how to plan, work and plant vanilla in the correct way.”
Adolfo is well acquainted with the difficulties that can arise within the vanilla farming industry. He has worked extremely hard to learn how to prepare the field to produce ideal crops, enlisting the support of his children to clear the land and plant support trees and vanilla vines. The work can also be extremely time consuming, but to Adolfo it is worth the perseverance to ensure that he can produce optimal vanilla crops from the harvest.
“Getting close to harvest is one of the exciting steps for me, it is so unbelievable because I started from zero and now I can say that when it is time for harvest I can support myself and my family to survive and also I can pay my children’s school fees”.
Adolfo and his wife will continue to work with vanilla, to ensure that by harvest time in three years time they will be able to sell their crops and earn enough money to support their family and their children’s school fees.