The application of technologies that are profitable for people and have a low impact on the environment makes a big difference in achieving a balance between sustainable production and biodiversity. For rural populations, technology together with access to sustainable markets achieves food security and integral development, making access to goods and services possible for families who make a living from agricultural production.
Two projects in Honduras are working in these areas: the project Rural Opportunities in the Gulf of Fonseca, located in the south of Honduras (an area plagued by food insecurity) and Progresa, which focused on the development of coffee, cocoa and cashew value chains.
262 women and 261 men cashew and fruit producers completed the training and technical assistance programme to improve their crops, with the support of the Rural Opportunities and Progresa projects, both implemented by Swisscontact.
These producers have been participating in training processes since 2018, through the Agricultural Field Schools (ECA) methodology, in which capacities are strengthened to implement Sustainable Agriculture Adapted to Climate (ASAC) practices.
With the knowledge acquired, participants apply profitable and environmentally friendly technologies on their plots of land, such as: the creation of nurseries, bio-fertilisers, bio-controllers for the integrated management of pests and diseases and the management of ejidos; these spaces promote the recognition and appreciation of the role and active participation of women in agriculture.
ASAC practices, in turn, increase the quality and productivity of crops, thereby also increasing incomes.
The graduation ceremony was attended by 16 women leaders from the municipalities of Namasigue, El Triunfo and Concepción de María.
During the graduation event, the producers participated in a discussion where they shared their experiences in the Agricultural Field Schools.
Since 2018, the Oportunidades Rurales and Progresa projects in Honduras have been offering a technical and business skills development programme for rural producers.
Rural Opportunities in the Gulf of Fonseca is a project financed by the Government of Canada and implemented by Swisscontact that seeks to strengthen business opportunities for agricultural and non-agricultural micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to improve their ability to participate and profit in markets.
The overall objective of PROGRESA is to contribute to reducing poverty and food insecurity of small and medium-sized producers and agricultural workers by improving the competitiveness of the coffee, cocoa and cashew chains in the departments of El Paraíso, Choluteca and Valle. It is funded by the European Union.