Self-Help International seeks $5,000 to purchase a reliable motorcycle so the agricultural team in Nicaragua can travel separately and bring new planting methods to more farmers in the next 3 - 5 years. Self-Help's agricultural team in Nicaragua will be able to reach more farmers to provide trainings on improved farming methods and teach about the importance of Quality Protein Maize, which is higher yielding than creole corn and has 90% of the protein found in a glass of skim milk.
Poor nutrition and low yields are major challenges faced by subsistence farm families in Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (cia.gov). The most recently available data indicates that more than 1 in 6 children under the age of 5 experience stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition (PAHO). A new motorcycle will enable Self-Help's Nicaragua agriculture team to reach more farming communities with agricultural extension programs.
The communities most in need are also the most difficult to reach. With a motorcycle, Self-Help agriculture staff can expand its agricultural extension programs and teach more farmers about the importance of Quality Protein Maize, which is higher yielding than creole corn with 90% of the protein found in a glass of skim milk (addressing nutritional needs). Self-Help staff will also be able to train more farmers in improved farming methods, which will help to increase crop yields (more income).
The impact from Self-Help's agriculture program is two-fold: the increased financial benefit to small-scale farming families who produce the seed corn, and increased yields and nutrition for smallholder farmers who plant it for household consumption. Former subsistence farmers are now finding that their increased maize yields mean income for their families. Families consume some of the maize they produce, and commercialize the rest. This leads to better incomes and better nutrition.