Tegucigalpa, Honduras, November 15, 2018— In 10 communities in Copán and Choluteca, the productivity of coffee and bean crops increased by 17% and 23% through the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies. This is part of the results that were presented from the Central America Resilient (ResCA) project in Honduras. This is an initiative that was developed in the country by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and its local partners, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), and the Standing Committee on Contingencies (COPECO).
The objective of this program is to contribute to the development of healthy agricultural systems that are more resilient to climate change, as the effects of climate change have accentuated droughts and floods in the country. In this sense, the work of this first phase of ResCA in Honduras (February 2017 – July 2018)–a project led at the regional level by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), funded by the U.S. State Department, and supported by the AgroLAC 2025 multi-donation platform–focused on three pillars.
First, more than 250 producers were trained on practices that strengthened their resilience to climate change and thus their productivity. Second, the accuracy of climate forecasts was improved to provide more reliable information to farmers. Finally, in partnership with local authorities, two Municipal Climate Change Adaptation Plans were created for Santa Rita and Cabañas.
According to ResCA’s National Coordinator, Diego Obando, these efforts respond to the challenge facing Honduras, as it is one of the countries that is most vulnerable to climate change; given that coffee, beans, and maize are the most sensitive crops.” In the future, between 45% and 86% of municipalities that harvest coffee and beans will not have ideal conditions for production. This situation requires urgent attention, as in rural regions of the country 75% of the population is directly dependent on agriculture,” Obando said.
For this reason, considering this scenario, ResCA established 10 field schools in the communities of Aldea Nueva, La Casita, Vado Ancho, Queseras, Tierra Fria, Anona, Hato Viejo, La Tajeada, Burillo and Yoloran. More than 250 farmers improved their knowledge of sustainable practices and, as a result, reduced crop losses from droughts.
In terms of climate prediction, institutions such as COPECO and UNAH received training on the use of the Climate Predictability Tool software. Developed by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), this instrument improves the accuracy of climate forecasts. Thus, it helped to generate newsletters with timely agroclimatic information for producers in various departments. Given the results of these actions, CiAT received the United Nations’ “Momentum for Change 2017” recognition.
“This technology provides reliable information for Honduran farmers to make assertive decisions about when is the best time for planting, irrigation, or even what to grow,” said Jennifer Wiegel PhD, Director of CIAT Central America.
For their part, two Municipal Climate Change Adaptation Plans were approved for Santa Rita and Cabañas. These plans are a guide for local decision makers to deal with challenging climate scenarios with the best available strategies. This involves efficient management of natural resources, measures that reduce vulnerability to the climate, and preventative actions that protect crops.
Following the achievements of ResCA, a second phase of the project is being started. Its new goal will be to expand climate training and sustainable agriculture to 340 other farmers in Copán, Choluteca, and now also in Intibucá. Improvements in climate prediction systems will also continue, including actions to be taken with the local government authorities.
“Our partnership with the ResCA project strengthens institutions and empowers producers in the face of climate change. Thus, we generate opportunities that improve the quality of life for the country’s farmers,” concluded Guillermo Cerritos, holder of the SAG-DICTA Agricultural Science and Technology Directorate.
Our partnership with the ResCA project strengthens institutions and empowers producers in the face of climate change. Thus, we create opportunities that improve the quality of life for the country’s farmers.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is a research organization, working in collaboration with hundreds of partners to help developing countries achieve more competitive, cost-effective, and resilient agriculture through smarter and more sustainable management of natural resources, which is called eco-efficient agriculture.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the world’s leading conservation organization. Since 1951 we have pursued the mission of conserving the lands and waters on which life depends. Today we are present in 72 countries around the world and work to conserve nature both for its intrinsic value and for the well-being it brings to people. Our global presence and capabilities enable us to generate large-scale impact to address some of humanity’s most pressing threats. Everything is made possible thanks to the support of more than one million affiliates and thousands of donors in the United States and the world.
Resilient Central America (ResCA) is an initiative that seeks to improve the livelihoods of farmers, ranchers and family fishermen in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. We work in partnership with producers, researchers, and the public and private sectors to develop healthy agricultural systems that are more resilient to climate change through conserving the natural resources that underpin production and strengthening local economies. It is a four-year project funded by the U.S. Department of State, aligned with the AgroLAC 2025 multi-donation platform, and led by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). For more information, visit www.centroamericaresiliente.org and follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ResilienteCA/) and on Twitter @ResilienteCA