Business Overview

Urda Doviana is a plantain farmer/vendor in the community of Pueblo Nuevo that grew up watching her father manage this business and inherited it. She is looking for diverse ways to increase her income, whether it be by diversifying her products or strategising new methods to grow her clientele.

Urda's Agricultural Venture - Pueblo Nuevo, Panamá

Economic Challenge

Urda Doviana is a skilled and knowledgable plantain farmer/vendor, wife and mother.  Urda grew up watching her father manage his plantain business. When he passed away, she inherited some of his land and was able to use the techniques she learned from watching him to start growing plantains herself. Currently, Urda is able to generate some income from selling plantains, but is challenged with organizing her business operations and growing her sales. Ultimately, she aims to grow her plantain business to the size of her father’s, and use the income generated from the business to achieve her goals for herself and her family

The Business

Advice for future brigades:

  1. Follow up: plantation organization, accounting, inventory, schedule, sales.
  2. Prioritize getting your client to trust you and making them feel comfortable.
  3. Urda doesn’t know how to read, so really factor this into your deliverable. Maybe focus on building
    her toolset/skills as a major component of your deliverable, on top of developing a business plan.

Competitive Advantage

Some of the strengths Urda possess, is her mastery of Plantain Farming because she grew up watching her father, Urda is highly knowledgeable about growing plantains. Urda also already owns land (~0.5 acres) with the capability to grow 100+ trees and while she does not have a large amount of clients she is able to maintain regular clientele, and gain more through word-of-mouth. Finally, Urda owns the land and materials for farming, obtains plantain seeds from her trees, and has no labor costs.


Some of the major challenges that Urda faces are the following:

  1. Poor Growth: due to issues with the soil or dry season
  2. Product Waste: if product is not sold and spoils
  3. Competition: there are other plantain sellers within the community
  4. Other Expenses: while her business requires an influx of money, other personal needs take precedence over the business.

Next Steps

The tasks thatUrda's Agricultural Venture has prioritized are:

1: Develop and implement strategies to increase market share (eg. customer acquisition, further diversification).
2: Master the inventory and accounting systems.
3: Expand land property, possibly using a loan from the community bank supplemented by savings from sales.

Page Last Updated:December 15, 2019