Through its partnership with Lutheran World Relief, FRB supported a pilot project called Learning for Gender Integration. Read about the results in the article below.
Farmers in the Flor de Pancasán area of Nicaragua’s Matiguás municipality were struggling. They were seeing low crop yields for a variety of reasons, including soil depletion, a lack of resources to make key investments and weather fluctuations, and this was affecting their ability to feed their families. Through its Learning for Gender Integration project, Lutheran World Relief wanted to see whether an initiative to increase agricultural production and improve food security might be bolstered with efforts to reduce gender gaps.
Foods Resource Bank is a long-time partner and supporter of CWS development programs. As such, the CWS Board of Directors chose to honor FRB at its April meeting in northern Virginia. Here is an excerpt from the remarks of CWS Board of Directors Chair, Dr. Earl Trent:
“In recognition of its significant contributions to the mission of CWS;
My name is Melecio Cantoral Gonzalez. I am 30 years old. I live with my parents, my wife and my two small children. We live in the community of Bella Vista, near Nueva Frontera in Honduras, in a small home made of adobe with a metal roof. It has a kitchen, a living room, and one small bedroom. My wife and I share our room with our children. Together with my family I farm a little more than 4 acres.
I walk about 30 minutes to get to the land I farm, which is on a steep slope. I grow mainly corn, red beans, and coffee. A couple of years earlier I started to plant other crops because of training I had received. I learned that I can’t support my family with just corn and beans and I learned other things, too,
From the 29th of November to the 7th of December, 2014, a group of nine from Foods Resource Bank (FRB) came to Nicaragua. For the majority, it was their first time visiting this land of beautiful nature and rich culture.
By Laurie Kaniarz, FRB Staff
If you are a Foods Resource Bank (FRB) volunteer, supporter, friend, or staff, you are part of a grassroots movement that is helping people resist migration to cities or other countries to look for work to sustain their families back home. Our focus on agricultural development for small-holder farmers helps them find and practice real solutions to challenges like
A fungus called la roya, or coffee rust, is creeping throughout Central America, threatening livelihoods for millions of coffee farmers. FRB’s Central American programs are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the impact of la roya on the coffee industry. Farmer’s reliant on coffee production are challenged to reconsider a new path in life. To learn more, check out this article from the New York Times, “A Coffee Crop Withers.” Or, to make a difference, visit Equal Exchange, a fair trade organization that provides opportunities to support coffee farmers in Central America.
Malecio is a 27-year-old farmer in rural Honduras who lives in a mountainous part of the country, three hours from the closest paved road, with his wife and two children. Earlier this year, Malecio heard about sustainable smallholder ag training through FRB’s Honduras-Nueva Frontera program. He was interested in the training because he had seen other farmers in the area using the new methods, and their crops looked and produced much better than his. So he got in touch with Cesar, an extension agent who works for CASM, FRB’s local partner.
When Cesar came to look at his farm, Malecio explained to him that he was planting only corn, beans, and coffee, the yields were never enough to make it through the year, and low coffee prices meant that he wasn't able to purchase the food his family
Below is a prayer request for our partner staff with Honduras-Nueva Frontera program. Many have met Delmis during travels with FRB. She recently notified us that violence has suddenly erupted in Nueva Frontera.
Due to food scarcity and lack of employment people are becoming desperate and crime had been steadily rising. Organized criminal groups are now vying for control of the area and robberies are becoming quite common.
The FRB/LWR Nicaragua-Pancasán pilot program seeks to reduce the gender gap evident in the practices of a local farmer cooperative by including as many women as possible in the co-op’s services. Gender inequality has a profound effect on food security. When women have less access to land and capital for farming activities, they are less involved in economically productive activities, and earn much less than men. When both women and men have access to resources they can grow more food and generate more income for their families.