Tegucigalpa, Honduras, November 15, 2018– In ten communities of Copán and Choluteca, the productivity of coffee and bean crops increased from 17% to 23%, due to the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies. These are part of the project ResCA’s results in Honduras that were presented today. This is an initiative developed in the country by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and its local partners, the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG) and the Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO).
The objective of this program is to contribute to the development of healthy agricultural systems that are more resilient to climate change, since these climatic changes have accentuated droughts and floods in the country. ResCA’s first phase in Honduras (February 2017 – July 2018), led at the regional level by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), funded by the US Department of State and supported by the multi-donation platform AgroLAC 2025, focused on three pillars
In the first instance, more than 250 producers were trained on practices that strengthened their resilience to climate change and enhanced their productivity. Second, the accuracy of climate forecasts was improved to provide more reliable information to producers. Finally, in partnership with local authorities, two Municipal Climate Change Adaptation Plans were created for Santa Rita and Cabañas.
According to the National Coordinator of ResCA, Diego Obando, these efforts address the challenges that Honduras faces, since it is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, and coffee, beans and corn are the most sensitive crops. “In the future, between 45% and 86% of the coffee and bean producing municipalities will not have the adequate conditions to produce these crops. This requires urgent action because 75% of the rural population of the country directly depends on agriculture,” said Obando.
Therefore, ResCA established ten field schools in the communities of Aldea Nueva, La Casita, Vado Ancho, Queseras, Tierra Fría, Anona, Hato Viejo, La Tajeada, Burillo and Yoloran. More than 250 farmers strengthened their knowledge on sustainable practices and, as a result, reduced crop losses due to drought.
In terms of climate prediction, institutions such as COPECO and UNAH received training on the use of the “Climate Predictability Tool.” This instrument, developed by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), improves the accuracy of climate forecasts. This tool contributed in generating newsletters with timely agroclimatic information for the producers of several departments. Given the results of these actions, CIAT received the “Momentum for Change 2017” award granted by the United Nations.
“This technology provides Honduran farmers with reliable information to make sound decisions on the best time for planting, irrigation or what to grow,” said Jennifer Wiegel PhD, Director of CIAT Central America.
On the other hand, two Municipal Climate Change Adaptation Plans were approved for Santa Rita and Cabañas. These plans are a guide for local decision makers to face the climatic challenges. This involves efficient management of natural resources, and climate-smart measures to protect crops and reduce climate vulnerability.
Following the achievements of ResCA, a second phase of the project is being initiated. Its new goal includes expanding training on climate and sustainable agriculture to 340 other farmers in Copán, Choluteca and Intibucá. Climate prediction systems will continue to improve, among other actions supported by the authorities.
“Our partnership with the project ResCA, strengthens institutions and empowers producers to face climate change. Thus, we generate opportunities that improve the quality of life of the farmers in Honduras,” concluded Guillermo Cerritos, head of the Directorate of Science and Agricultural Technology SAG-DICTA.
Our partnership with the project ResCA, strengthens institutions and empowers producers to face climate change. Thus, we generate opportunities that improve the quality of life of the farmers in Honduras.
TheInternational Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is an organization that conducts research, and works in collaboration with hundreds of partners to help developing countries achieve a more competitive, profitable and resilient agriculture through a more intelligent and sustainable management of natural resources, which we call eco-efficient agriculture.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit http://www.nature.org/belize or follow @The Nature Conservancy in Belize on Facebook.
Resilient Central America is a four-year initiative across Central America that promotes healthy and productive ecosystems that achieve food security and resilience to climate change. Led by the United States Department of State, The Nature Conservancy, and AgroLAC 2025, this project is implementing fisheries and land-based projects across Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. To learn more, visit www.resilientcentralamerica.org or follow @ResilienteCA on Twitter or @ResilienteCA on Facebook.
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