The mentoring in the area of income crops includes a number of diverse cultures that will be planted, as well as the rotation of the various crops to preserve the fertility of the soil.
The variety in the agricultural production is always based on what the possibilities are; and a big effort is always made to deliver the best possible quality seed. The technical coaching also includes how and where to store the crop as well as the commercial side of selling it. Added to that, the Agricultural department offers specific workshops for the indigenous farmers by way of practical demonstrations and observation on location.
Ultimately, the sesame seed has come through as the number one culture to plant for income crop and it has come to have a good acceptance on the international market.
In order to be able to finance the plantations, FIDA (Fundacion Indigena para el Desarrollo Agropecuario) gave the interested producers loans (about 1.5 hectares of land/farmer). The system of agricultural loans operates in a manner where any farmer can ask for a loan in his community without hesitation. The producers can work alone or in a group of five, so that they plant on a larger surface, which lowers the cost of production. The agricultural machines of the community can be used for the preparation of the soil and the planting, even for some of the jobs of maintaining the fields. After the producer delivers his crop to his community, he receives an initial pay for the product. The product is then sold and when the last payment has been made by the buyer, calculations are made,the loan is subtracted and the producer receives his pay.
Some of the challenges on the plantations of sesame seeds are principally failing to rotate the cultures (the soil gets depleted and diseases show up in the dirt), caterpillar attacks, too many weeds, wrong timing in the harvesting, etc. The main variety of sesame seeds is the kind called "Escoba blanca" (white broom), although other varieties have been tried out in order to test their tolerance to the diseases of the soil, like Masacrophomina.
Beans are also planted, especially the variety called San Francisco.
The main challenge of the mentor is finding an adequate alternative to sesame seeds to be able to rotate the production. Various experiments were done on smaller parcels in some communities. This is how the alternating of crop cultures is promoted and an open air classroom is created.