Montevideo, Uruguay; August 6, 2019. – The agro-climate information tools promoted by the Resilient Central America Program (ResCA) Honduras were presented at the first edition of the Innovation in the Americas Week UIT entitled “Intelligent Rural Communities, – Innovation in the TIC and responsible and sustainable agricultural production.” The week was organized by the Office of Telecommunication Development (BDT) of the International Telecommunications Union (UIT), the National Telecommunications Administration of Uruguay (ANTEL), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). It was moderated by Anna Ricoy, the coordinator of disaster management and Regional Official of the FAO and the UN for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Horacio Rodríguez Vázquez, the Nature Conservancy’s Climate and Food Security Coordinator for Latin America, participated as a speaker in the panel entitled “Anopportunity to transition to resilient agriculture.” The panel took place on Tuesday, August 6 at the ANTEL facility in Montevideo.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is leading the implementation of ResCA in Honduras with participation from 340 producers from Copán, Choluteca and Intibucá, the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), and the Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO). With an investment of more than 970 thousand dollars, financed by the United States Department of State and administered by TNC, ResCA Honduras is promoting Participatory Climate Services for Agriculture (PISCA). Through an innovative methodology for creating collective models and climate forecasts, that utilize big data analysis and artificial intelligence, recommendations are being created that allow for producers to make better decisions about when to plant and how to manage the production of coffee, corn, and beans more efficiently so that they will be ready for the challenges posed by climate change.
“The local innovation capacity has improved thanks to the public and private actor network, whose activities and interactions initiate, adopt, utilize, adapt, and diffuse knowledge, information, and technological tools,” said Horacio Rodriguez Vazquez. He added “Innovation is a collective process and therefore it is everyone’s responsibility.”
ResCA Honduras has achieved an increase in productivity between 17% and 23% for both coffee and bean production in the 10 communities of Copán and Choluteca after the implantation of the climate adaptation strategies. As a result, the methodology promoted by CIAT in the ResCA Honduras framework received the 2017 “Momentum for Change” prize in the Technology Solutions of Information and Communications (TIC) category, awarded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In response, Horacio Rodríguez explained that ResCA is an example of how agricultural innovation processes in Central America’s rural territory, who are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, can be part of the solution to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Further, he highlighted that the main challenge is scaling up these innovations, beyond an exception or an isolated pilot study, so that healthy and resilient agriculture becomes our standard mode of food production.
Scaling up the ResCA promoted innovations is key to avoiding the loss of food production associated with climate change. According to FAO data, 2.2 million producers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua lost their harvest due to climate events (mainly drought) in 2018. FAO declared in April 2019 that, of those affected producers, 1.4 million producers are in urgent need of food assistance. Additionally, the World Bank estimates that between 2020 and 2050 the number of Central Americans that migrate due to climate change will double, reaching an average of 1.4 to 2.1 million people.
To confront this problem, beginning in 2016 and running through 2020, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is investing almost 10 million dollars in the implementation of ResCA with the objective of promoting productive innovation–within institutions and through public policy–that will benefit habitat restoration, water security, climate resilience, and food security in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and at the regional level with the SICA.
“The local innovation capacity has improved thanks to the public and private actor network, whose activities and interactions initiate, adopt, utilize, adapt, and diffuse knowledge, information, and technological tools.”
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) organization is a world leader in conservation. Since 1951, we have pursued the mission of conserving the land and water on which life depends. Today, we are present in 72 countries around the world working to conserve nature for its intrinsic value and for the wellbeing that it provides to people. Our global presence and capacity allow us to generate a large-scale impact to confront the most pressing threats to humanity. This is made possible by the support of more than a million affiliates and thousands of donors in the United States and the world. For more information, visit https://www.nature.org and follow TNC on Twitter @TNCLatinAmerica
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is an organization that conducts research working in collaboration with hundreds of partners to help developing countries with the goal of achieving an a more competitive, profitable, and resilient agriculture through intelligent and sustainable management of natural resources. We call it eco-efficient agriculture. For more information visit https://ciat.cgiar.org/ and follow CIAT on Twitter @CIAT_
Resilient Central America (ResCA) is an initiative seeking to improve the livelihoods of farmers, ranchers, and fishers in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, at a regional level in collaboration with the Central American Integration System (SICA). The initiative works with producers, researchers, and both the public and private sectors to develop healthy and productive ecosystems that are resilient to climate change, conserve natural resources that sustain food production, and strengthen local economies. It is a four-year program financed by the United States Department of State, organized by the AgroLAC 2025 multi-donation platform, and led by The Nature Conservancy. For more information, visit www.centroamericaresiliente.org follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ResilienteCA/) and Twitter at @ResilienteCA