Developing sustainable agriculture in Nicaragua
Our vision for helping the poor in Nicaragua was born out of interaction with residents of the rural province of Carazo. The need for stimulation of the local economy is very apparent. There exists an agriculture knowledge base and plenty of natural resources, but the connection between the two is failing. Because of a lack of understanding of how to implement new agriculture technologies (seed varieties, plant populations, pest control, soil care) farmers are unable to capitalize on their existing assets. Additionally, lack of financing limits options. Ultimately a lack of hope for a better future reduces the desire to change.
When we take a cross-section of the population of Nicaragua, we find that more than 50% live in rural areas. The World Bank economic statistics for Nicaragua tell us that 25% of the population lives on less than $1.90 of income/day. Apply that same logic to rural Nicaragua, and the percentage climbs to 65%. That’s nearly 2 of every 4 rural Nicaraguans living in poverty, plus 1 in 4 in extreme poverty.
The opportunities? The climate is right. There’s plenty of available or underutilized land. A ready market. Farmers with local knowledge.
Presently there is no government vision for establishing strategies that would lead to a more stable and robust agricultural economy. La Semilla exists to improve the economic incomes of rural Nicaraguans and their families so that agriculture can be a stable and secure source of income for the entire year, and for the next generation.
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