The Rural Enterprise, Health and Environment Program in the Atlantic Region (PROGRESA II) is a $1.9 million five-year project (2014- 2019), funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a consortium of agencies lead by Catholic Relief Services, where Lutheran World Relief and TechnoServe are working directly with 1,250 smallholder cocoa farmers among 14 vulnerable municipalities in Rio San Juan and the Northern and Southern Autonomous Atlantic Regions (RAAN/RAAS) of Nicaragua to increase agricultural productivity of cocoa and livestock value chains , and to expand trade of agricultural products by facilitating private-private and public-private relationships.
Lutheran World Relief will focus its efforts and work with local partners ACAWAS, CACAONICA and IPADE in three municipalities in Rio San Juan and the Northern and Southern Autonomous Atlantic Regions (RAAN/RAAS). Using the LWR Cocoa Tool Kit, cocoa producers will be trained in improved techniques and technologies for cocoa agroforestry production.
Improve productivity of both cocoa and livestock through increased knowledge of agricultural technologies and techniques, generating $29.4 million of incremental gross income for farmers over four years.
The purpose of the project is to generate $29.4 million of incremental gross income to smallholder farmers over four years.
The objective is “to improve productivity of both cocoa and livestock through increased knowledge of agricultural technologies and techniques” by:
- Facilitating technical assistance and improved market linkage for cocoa and dairy farmers.
- Creating complementary short-term income opportunities and improve long-term sustainability of cocoa and dairy livelihoods.
- Increasing producer capacity to implement improved agricultural production techniques and manage farm enterprises.
- Facilitating agricultural lending and develop key support services such as quality production inputs and improved genetic materials.
- Increasing market access and leverage private investment in cocoa and dairy value chains.
- Improving capacity of producer organizations in management, administration, and post-harvest Processing.
- Building the necessary knowledge to meet quality standars of high value markets.
PROGRESA II is unique in its dual focus on cocoa agroforestry and sustainable livestock development, two of the most important economic sectors in the Atlantic region. This combination creates complementary opportunities to generate income in the short term, development of sustainable livelihoods in the medium and long term, and preservation and regeneration of natural resources opportunities. PROGRESA II will have a long-term impact by developing linkages with markets and profitable relations between buyers and sellers, strengthening producer cooperatives, and the facilitation of infrastructure investments for both value-added value chains.