Nicaragua Conquista Nandaime
$29,300 needed of $100,000
The municipality of Conquista is located in the Pacific Dry Corridor of Nicaragua. Over the last decades temperatures in this region have steadily increased, and drought conditions have become more prevalent due to climate change. At times droughts have been so severe that emergency food aid had to be distributed and wells went dry.
In response to climate change and the challenges it has brought to this region, this program is working to help communities adapt by promoting farming techniques that are better suited for the increasingly dry climate. This means training farmers in alternative crops like plantains, cassava, dragon fruit, citrus fruits, and papayas. Trainings are focused on “lead farmers” that learn and use the new techniques in their own farms and then provide training to their neighbors on the techniques. This program has also supported the construction of water systems to insure that families have clean drinking water throughout the year.
Old Farming Practices Make Way for the New
Douglas, a farmer with a carpentry business and a young family, speaks with great love of how his parents involved him in farming from a very young age. “They taught me to work the land in the way they knew,” he says. “Today, though, I know that some of those conventional farming practices caused a lot of damage to the environment, and the drought, heat and catastrophic rains we’re experiencing were in part brought about by such practices.”
He made the realization that “there are ways to get better crop yields without causing harm” almost as soon as he began his training in conservation agriculture at the Farmer Field School.
“Before, I did not know what to do when I experienced losses, but now I can reliably grow crops and have a good harvest. Now, I recognize that all land is useful, even when it is not fertile. We used to say that the land was bad, useless, but now we know how to improve and protect the soil. I am more conscientious about taking care of the environment because of what I have seen as I experiment in my field. My wife and I started out small, and once we saw what worked we increased cultivation. We are growing crops that we had never planted before: tomatoes, green peppers, radishes, cucumbers. We’re developing papaya and dragon fruit trees.”
Douglas is now a partner of the Farmer Field School as a “First Tier Farmer” – the highest designation – and he’s been proposed as a candidate to run a Model Farm in the future for others to learn from. As an agricultural promoter and community leader, Douglas says he is filled with great satisfaction any time he can share his experiences with other families, help them in their fields, and motivate them.
“I can help my neighbors and my community improve their grain crops and their garden plots. All of us who are part of the San Lucas program are motivating other farmers every day to change their planting methods and ways of growing food so they enrich the land instead of depleting it. What we’re doing helps us all face the adversities of climate change.”
Nicaragua Conquista Nandaime Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Fundación San Lucas