doi: 10:5191/jiaee.2013.20305

 

Exploring Profitability of Compost Micro-Enterprises
in Chimaltenango, Guatemala: 

A Case Study of Business Sustainability for International Development

 

 

 

Timothy Silberg

Texas A&M University

Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications 

#1 Tabora Avenue

Makiso Community, Kisangani (DRC)

243-990-139-570

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Theresa Pesl Murphrey

Texas A&M University

Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications 2116 TAMU

College Station, TX 77843-2116

1-979-458-2749

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Gary Wingenbach

Texas A&M University

Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications

2116 TAMU

College Station, TX 77843-2116

1-979-862-1507 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Leonardo Lombardini

Texas A&M University

Department of Horticultural Sciences

2133 TAMU

College Station, TX 77843-2133

1-979-458-8079

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Abstract

The economic sustainability of innovations disseminated to rural communities is an important issue in agricultural development. However, individuals working in international development often do not fully employ monitoring systems to analyze the long-term profit of an innovation prior to diffusion. This multi-case study used qualitative methods, including individual/group interviews and observations, to gather data to analyze all necessary inputs of compost micro-enterprises in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Each micro-enterprise’s relative output was examined to determine how agricultural extension efforts could modify its operations to produce profits. The results revealed entrepreneurs lacked an awareness of total inputs used/needed for a compost operation and lacked effective financial record keeping practices. Net profit fell when inexpensive unskilled labor was used, when the operation’s infrastructure deterred access to transport or deterred vision of the operation and when entrepreneurs used greater quantities of free raw material to produce equivalent amounts of compost. All micro-enterprises were cognizant of their compost ingredient ratios, but none had quantified total materials used to produce given amounts for specific periods. Findings from this study provide insights into factors that impact profitability related to compost micro-enterprises in developing countries.

 

Keywords: Compost, Micro-Enterprise, Sustainability, Profit, Inputs, Guatemala

Attachments:
Download this file (Silberg_jiaee20(3).pdf)Download[ ]244 kB