$50,000 needed of $100,000
The Nicaragua Matagalpa program works with communities in the northern mountains of the country. Here, weather patterns are changing quickly and farmers are struggling to adapt. Drought has increased, delaying planting dates. Rains needed during critical times in plant development are no longer predictable.
This program works to increase the capacity of farmers to implement climate change resilient agricultural practices and address child malnutrition by improving newborn and infant care practices. Communities are working to identify how climate change affects current farming practices and the specific challenges created by those changes. New farming techniques are tested and promoted through farmer field schools.
Crop Diversification Supports Food Security
Luís lives in the mountainous department of Matagalpa on land that has been in his family for generations. He remembers his grandfather telling stories about when the farm was still fertile. When it came time for Luís to farm it, the soil was so degraded he was forced to rent elsewhere in order to get decent yields of the area’s traditional crops of corn and beans. The loss of fertility came from years of over-tilling, slash and burn practices, over-using chemicals like weed killers, and allowing over-grazing of cattle that further compacted the soil.
Luís listened to the agronomists sent by local partner Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC) and agreed to try out a new way of planting on a half acre of his land. He says, “I thought it was a sacrifice. It took time and planning away from working on my rented land.” Nonetheless, he planted coffee, yuca (a starchy tuber also known as cassava, manioc, or tapioca), cocoa, plantains, and pigeon peas using a diversified agroforestry method. A year later, he says that that half acre has brought great benefit to the family.
“We now see the value in crops that we didn’t grow before,” reports Luís. “Instead of buying yuca, we eat our own, and can even sell it when we need some money. I’ve got single plants that have produced 25 pounds of yuca! This climate-smart farming has taught us that corn and beans are not the best way of surviving. We´ve changed our way of cultivating the land. Diversifying has allowed us to reduce the agrochemicals we are buying by 50% and we are replenishing our soil. This experience has completely changed the expectations we have for our life. As we diversify our farm, we have hope, because even in times of crisis like drought, flooding, insects or plant diseases, there will always be something to eat here.”
Nicaragua Matagalpa Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC)