Nicaraguan farmers are experiencing the effects of climate change on their crops. In seeking solutions, SHI has been experimenting with organic practices for both beans and maize, two of the most important staple crops for the Nicaraguan diet. We have observed the effectiveness of certain organic pesticides and fertilizers. These alternatives can be made by rural farm families from local ingredients which are ultimately less costly than chemical inputs.
Climate change has caused new problems for Nicaraguan farmers who are facing new pest-, drought-, and flood-related crop challenges. At the same time, costs for imported herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are on the rise. As farmers face decreased crop productivity and increased agro-input costs, SHI seeks new ways to support smallholder farm families with limited economic means to maintain, or increase, maize and bean production.
Agronomic experts Drs. Gustavo Cordova Alvarez and Gerardo Villegas have decades of experience in organic agriculture. They will travel to SHI headquarters to meet with a group of 25 farmers for whom they will provide hands-on training by establishing demonstration plots. They will identify crop inputs, production problems, and potential solutions, then use the demonstration plots to experiment with organic inputs which can be more efficient, cost effective,and simpler for smallholder farmers.
Farmers will learn new ways to protect crop yields from climate volatility at a lower cost; and farmers will learn that, by creating their own organic agro-inputs, they are helping protect soil, regenerating soil health health, and protecting water sources from agro-chemical contamination, all while producing healthy food. The 25 trainees will return to their communities and share what they have learned with other farmers.
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