Nicaraguan families learn together through farmer-to-farmer exchanges

Nicaraguan families learn together through farmer-to-farmer exchanges

FRB’s Nicaragua-Mateare program addresses food security issues in one of Latin America’s most food-insecure countries by training farmers in sustainable agriculture practices, and making sure that mothers with children ages 5 and under understand basic health practices, the importance of a balanced diet, and safe food preparation.

This integrated approach – growing enough food and ensuring that it is used to its best advantage for the health and wellbeing of all family members – is key to the success of the program. In Nicaragua, 1.2 million people are affected by hunger, environmental deterioration, chronic poverty, lack of potable water and insufficient food.

Women in the communities receive workshops on nutrition topics including “Healthy eating for children under 5,” especially for those families whose children have been identified as suffering from the effects of malnutrition. The program’s collaboration with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health promotes continued sharing of information and knowledge and strengthens the relationship between the local population and the health authorities.

Using a “campesino a campesino” (farmer to farmer) strategy of farm exchange visits means that farmers learn from each other and can build on past experience to find farming methods that work well in the local context. Typical exchanges cover soil and water conservation techniques, and diversification of their land with vegetable gardens, basic grains and fruit trees to increase production year round in their plots of land.

All 11 program communities have participated in training on risk management, disaster preparedness and climate change. Participants share what they learn with community leaders and municipal authorities who, as a result, are willing to co‐invest in water network systems for greater access to potable water.

In partnership with the Nicaraguan Institute of Agro Technology (INTA), program families and community seed banks participate in the Southern Pacific Network of Native Seed Banks. The partnership allows former program participants and new members to exchange experiences and plant material, and provides training in seed management and administration.The local program team continues to work at strengthening local leadership capacities, which was difficult at first, but has been critical to the success and sustainability of the program.

Nicaragua Mateare-Carazo encompasses 11 communities, 272 households, and 1038 individualsChildren love to learn and help with community projects. Foods Resource Bank’s Nicaragua - Mateare Carazo program #5006 Led by United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and local partner, Centro de Estudios Teológicos y Sociales (CIEETS )This program has been supported by FRB's Community Growing Projects. For more information or to support this program or others like it, please visit the Overseas Program page on our website

02/25/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment