Carlos Virgilio Urmeneta
Carlos has a brain for business but a heart for development. A native Honduran, Carlos received his BS from the University of Mobile in Alabama, where he first developed his areas of expertise in international business and management. After college, Carlos worked in oilseed operations in Paraguay and sustainable coffees in Honduras for Switzerland-based ECOM Agroindustrial, where he learned firsthand how private-sector partnerships could improve the livelihoods of rural communities throughout the different value chains. In 2008, he led the largest sustainable coffee initiative in Latin America into winning the Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Working side by side with farmers this is where Carlos learned the vital importance of developing value chains, providing access to markets, farmer finance, climate resilience mitigation, and agriculture technology design (micro-drip systems, etc.).
After collaborating with iDE and learning about its market-based approach to eradicating poverty, Carlos—an entrepreneur by nature—thought iDE was the perfect platform to carry on his mission for development. As the founding principal of iDE in Honduras in 2010, Carlos has since led the program's successful growth and become a leader for sustainable development partners in the region. Carlos thrives on working with small-scale farmers to deliver the information and tools they need to grow high-quality crops and receive premium prices, as well as to enable families to diversify their income streams and achieve profitability through high value crop cultivation, all while preserving vital natural resources. Carlos believes that smart program design in conservation agriculture and affordable technologies is the path out of poverty and continues to look for innovative solutions for iDE and the developing world.
Read about iDE in Honduras.