Food Security and Income Generation for Families of Workers on Coffee Farms in the Departments of Jinotega and Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Save the Children’s project to reach children and families of Jinotega and Matagalpa Departments in Nicaragua completed its first year of operations at the end of May.
From October to February, families in our project area work as day laborers on coffee haciendas to earn cash. After that period, they dedicate themselves exclusively to the cultivation of basic grains for self-consumption, with a goal of storing food for the months of scarcity. Through this project, Save the Children provides families with technical assistance and improved grain storage to help them sell their new-found surplus and generate income, improving families’ overall health and livelihood.
Over the past year, poor families have been helped through: inputs and seeds for the planting of beans, maize and vegetables; metal silos for storing basic grains; inputs for establishing nurseries; materials for grain pre-dryers; micro-tunnels for the production of seedlings; materials for building stables for goats and chicken coops and 285 hens for the production of eggs. The above has helped 374 families store 266,105 kg (586,661 pounds) of basic grains by May.
Our nutritional education initiatives have benefited 330 families. Community board members and health brigade members were trained in 24 communities on improving food security, the nutritional value of local foods, and the commitment of participants to replicate these activities in their communities.
Another development in the project is the introduction of the PROCOSAN (Community Promotion and Vigilance of Children’s Growth) strategy. This strategy strengthens the role of the family, particularly empowering women to continually observe the growth and development of their children. During this period, we have also worked with community health workers that are directly involved in the PROCOSAN strategy and are using the nutritional education modules to train 320 families, including men, to raise awareness and support for children’s consumption of healthy, local foods.
Finally, the project is helping to organize families into cooperatives to strengthen their organizational capacity, promoting collective sales and group participation in business matching, market soundings and creation of value added. The associative strategy has already facilitated improved product commercialization for 56 families, generating a total income of 12,544 USD from the sale of beans and oranges in the first planting cycle.