Nicaragua Environmental Conservation and Development Project

Partnering with the respected Nicaraguan organization, the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), in two regions of Nicaragua, San Francisco Libre and Nueva Guinea, this program is focused on community participation and education in agriculture, environmental conservation, and nutrition. Using its expertise in innovative and sustainable agricultural techniques, CEPAD staff is training small farmers in rural communities to make the best use of their land. Practices include planting of fruit trees such as plantain, banana, citrus, guava and passion fruit which can decrease erosion and provide a long-term source of food and income for the family. Farmers also receive inputs and training in planting maize, beans and cassava amongst the trees, in order to maximize the use of land and provide reliable annual staples for the household. Overarching this is the use of locally trialed soil improvement and conservation techniques, including household production of organic fertilizers and pesticides and construction of ridges and ditches to trap runoff and needed topsoil, and construction of rainwater harvesting structures called micro-dams to allow for production during the dry season. The program trains volunteer agriculture 'promoters' in the communities, who in turn each train five 'disciples'. At least 1/3 of trainees are women. CEPAD undergoes a three year cycle with each group, and in 2016 is currently working with farmers in their second year. Starting in 2012, they began working with a select group of farmers to improve their business and marketing practices to increase the income they receive from plantain production. This group is now in the process of taking loans, expanding their production and improving quality control. In addition, in 2014 CEPAD began working with additional women on smaller kitchen gardens, adjacent to their homes, to further focus on family nutrition, and continues to do so through 2016.

Activities

Support the creation of a relationship with the local government in each working district., Create one Community Development Committee (CDC) in each community, Provide seeds to 65 women to be able to produce using family garden approach (35 and 30 each per zone).,Train 65 women through 9 workshops, of two days each (3 per year) related to: how to provide a good management of the soil, crop diversification, improve the yields and selection of the crops, to improve family nutrition., Site and construct 13 micro-dams., Promote information to improve children's nutrition during community meetings and individual visits., Define, quote, purchase and transfer educational materials to benefit 336 participating farmers over three years., Hold three workshops with 28 agricultural promoters in San Francisco Libre and 24 in Nueva Guinea, and three exchanges of experiences with promoters and their disciples from each zone, over three years., Work with 312 continuing farmers from 13 communities in San Francisco Libre and Nueva Guinea to improve household food security and environment resource management by assisting them with the progressive adoption of new agricultural techniques, including use of organic inputs and technologies for soil and water conservation., Continue support and expansion of 13 nurseries, one per community, so that farmers can pass on plants from one group of farmers to the next., Select at least 50% of women during the planning of the project., Develop new relationships and improve the understanding of the plantain project with communities, local and national actors., Teach interested farmers advanced techniques of planting and management of plantain crops through exchange visit to other regions and local training workshops., Help farmers to get access to micro-loans to invest in their plantain plots.

Cross-cutting issues

Gender

Locations

  • Nicaragua>Managua>San Francisco Libre
  • Nicaragua>Atlantico Sur>Nueva Guinea

Sectors

  • Agriculture
  • Economic Recovery and Development
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Gender

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