Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 78% of the population living on less than $2 per day. The Agriculture sector represents 20% of the Gross Domestic Product and generates employment for 38% of the local labor market. Improved agricultural practices, better natural resource management, strengthened and expanded producer’s associations, and increased market access will help ensure sustainable livelihoods and better quality of life for small-scale farmers and their families.
Unión Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos (UNAG) is a national level farmers’ association founded in 1981 to improve quality of life for its members while promoting socio-economic competitiveness and environmental sustainablity. UNAG has more than 18 years of experience working in the region where the current project is located.
The project goal is to consolidate the cocoa value chain development model in the mining triangle in Nicaragua’s Northern Area Autonomous Region (RAAN). Promoting a competitive product and creating favorable conditions for organization, production, and marketing will generate larger family incomes.
The project builds on lessons learned from a previous LWR-funded project in the municipality of Siuna. The previous phases showed significant productivity gains for the group of cocoa producers in El Guayabo, however several important limitations for further advances were identified – particularly in the areas of certification, process and transport of harvest, and organizational capacity. This project seeks to address these specific limitations.
- Increase family income by 50% for 150 families in 14 communities of El Guayabo, Siuna through training and technical assistance that permits them to improve the quantity and quality of the cocoa they produce.
- Strengthen the organizational capacity of 150 cocoa producers from 14 communities (131 men and 19 women) through training and technical assistance to help them to achieve a sustainable business model.