Call for Proposals
USD 200.000
Counterpart Amount:
USD 300.000
Execution time
36 Months
Total Amount:
USD 500.000
Participating countries:
Panama Panama Costa Rica Costa Rica Nicaragua Nicaragua
Funding source:
FONTAGRO Amount 40% Other agencies 0% Counterpart Amount 60%

Executive Summary

Reducing the vulnerability of small rice producers in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama through technological innovation and collaboration platforms was the central objective of this project. Specific actions emphasized food security and adaptation to climate change through efficient practices, related, in particular, to water and soil resources. The system of rice intensification (SRI), specifically the organic version, was used to attempt to minimize agrochemical use and thus protect soil health and beneficial flora. 

The technological solution

In Panama, SRI plots were compared with conventional transplant methods and in Costa Rica and Nicaragua SRI plots were compared with traditional planting systems known as “espeque” or “chuzo”. The SRI plots received organic fertilizers at the time of land leveling. Transplants were performed with seedlings between 8 to 10 days after germination, placing one every 25 centimeters between plants and 25 centimeters between rows. Intermittent irrigation was used for water management in the plots.

The socialization and training component included Field Schools (ECA) and participatory workshops with group techniques such as discussion maps, surveys, brainstorming and rapid diagnostics.


Research conducted on small plots and excess rainfall that, in several cases, made it difficult to measure water use efficiency, means definitive conclusions regarding the SRI system under this project can not be made, however results do show positive trends that clearly indicate the potential for SRI in the region.

Producer surveys indicate that 48% depend on external income (wages, subsidies) and that family farming is the main source of food. About 68% of the rice produced is destined to family consumption and close to 70% of producers obtain very low yields.

Results include the activation of collaboration platforms in the three countries; the training of 10 technicians in the design and analysis of baselines; a 45.6% and 42.8% increase in yields in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, respectively, and enhanced water use efficiency of 17% and 52% in Panama and Nicaragua, respectively. Results also highlight the good performance of SRI plots in relation to the attack of diseases to foliage, panicles and grains, considering that no chemical products were applied.


A total of 575 producers were trained or informed about the SRI

Sustainable Development Goals

Zero Hunger Responsible consumption and production Climate action Partnerships for the goals

Main donors

Participating Organizations

  • Instituto de Innovación Agropecuaria de Panamá (IDIAP) - Panamá
  • Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Costa Rica
  • Instituto Nicaragüense de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Nicaragua

Graphics and data

Financing by country (in USD)
FONTAGRO Amount Other agencies Counterpart Amount

Geolocated Map

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)