Nicaragua

Learning from neighbors for better agricultural practices in Nicaragua

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Eligia Traña is a community leader in the village of Tecomapita in Nicaragua’s Carazo region. Tecomapita is one of eight communities in a CWS food security and nutrition program that is implemented by CWS Partner CIEETS with support from Foods Resource Bank. It is the poorest of the participating communities and has the least access to safe water and worst soil quality.

But it hasn’t always been this way.

When Eligia moved here 30 years ago, there were good climate conditions and thus good crop yields. She says, “We have always relied on agriculture, and the historical yields were not formidable but were enough to meet our needs. Nowadays, we farm because it is part of our culture and identity rather than for profit.”

There is real need here – four years of drought has taken its toll on the community. However, there is also hope through the CWS-supported program. There is now a Farmer Field School that is off to a strong start. CIEETS will continue to build on the success of the FFS by introducing new topics relevant to the new planting season. Farmer-to-farmer exchanges are a key part of the FFS, offering farmers an opportunity to learn from one another that they may not have had otherwise.

Eligia says, “I like the project because it has helped us a lot in how to move forward improving our soils. The community Farmer Field School has helped us to know and communicate better among the members of the community, which is important because we motivate each other for better participation. One concrete action to integrate everyone in the community is to make a garden with everyone participating. If we produce pipianes, we all get to eat them.”

Her family has also benefitted as part of the project in the area of access to clean water. Their water source is the family well and a nearby stream when rains come through. They purify the water using ceramic filters that were provided as part of the program.

In addition to her engagement with the CWS-supported program, Eligia is also an active member of her community’s seed bank and is diversifying her plot with fruit trees.

In her words, “This project is a blessing for each of the communities that benefit … it has come at the right moment.”