A mission carried out by FONTAGRO and FLAR/CIAT assessed the possibility of scaling up this project, which won FONTAGRO’s 2015 Contest for Successful Cases.
(Washington, D.C., September 26, 2016) From September 20 to 24 FONTAGRO carried out a mission to Nicaragua to assess the possibility of scaling up the “Water Harvesting” project implemented by the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, or FLAR/CIAT (for their acronyms in Spanish).
This project was a winner of the 2015 Contest for Successful Cases of “Innovation in Family Farming Adaptation to Climate Change”, which was organized by FONTAGRO, with the support of GEF, IDB, IICA.
This initiative will be carried out as part of a program funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
“Water Harvesting” is a development project that involves the construction reservoir to catch rain water during the wet season, and implement efficient irrigation during the dry season in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Irrigation during the dry season has allowed substantial increases in productivity of rice, maize and beans; as well as diversifies the farming systems with fish farming and improving milk production.
The mission included FONTAGRO representatives, and FLAR/CIAT staff. Its purpose was to meet key stakeholders and explore the interest for a feasibility study to scale-up this experience.
FONTAGRO and FLAR/CIAT representatives held meetings with Nicaragua’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Iván Acosta, and Nicaragua’s Representative to the IDB’s Board of Executive Directors, Francisco Mayorga, to find out about national priorities and opportunities for scaling up the project.
Meetings were also held with several local institutions and officials from Nicaragua’s Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the World Bank, and Banco Produzcamos. These institutions have experience in implementing several programs and projects aimed at preventing the deterioration of natural resources and reducing the impact of climate change.
Visiting Producers’ Farms
During the mission, a visit to three farms located in the municipalities of Somoto and San Lucas was carried out, in the department of Madriz. The owners had participated in the original “Water Harvesting” project. Another visit was carried out to a model local enterprise that manufactures, markets, and exports donuts made with maize products.
Lastly, meetings were carried out to assess opportunities and potential for joining efforts to implement strategies aimed at diversifying production, developing value chains, and providing family farmers with access to markets, which would ultimately enable the sustainable agricultural development of the Dry Corridor.
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FONTAGRO is a unique regional cooperation mechanism that promotes family farming innovation, competitiveness, and food security. It was established in 1998 and it includes fifteen member countries that have contributed a capital of some $100 million. FONTAGRO is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). Its Technical Administrative Secretariat is based at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C. FONTAGRO has cofinanced more than 100 projects and initiatives in its member countries for an approximate amount of $88.7 million, including contributions from other sources of funding and executing agencies. Its member countries are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
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