LWR works with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), farming cooperatives, and producer associations in southern El Salvador to advance rural development and build the capacity of communities to prevent and respond to natural disasters.
LWR promotes practices that help rural communities adapt to the effects of climate change, and respond to climate-induced natural disasters. Working with local NGOs, rural communities and local institutions, LWR promotes Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) interventions that help protect and increase the resilience of entire municipalities. These interventions include
- support for early warning systems,
- emergency operations centers,
- safe schools programs, and
- epidemiological control campaigns.
As changing weather patterns in El Salvador increasingly affect farming systems and the availability of water, LWR has supported the recuperation and protection of critical water sources, as well as climate-smart agriculture interventions aimed at
- diversifying farmers’ production,
- conserving soil and water resources, and
- increasing producers’ resilience to adverse weather events.
In Usulután and San Miguel departments, LWR has promoted planning between local authorities, civil society and the private sector to advance economic activities that protect natural resources and help communities thrive in the face of changing weather patterns. This has included investments to expand organic coffee production, to strengthen women’s and farmers’ organizations for increased production and sales of organic vegetables and fruit products, and support for the design of environmentally sound tourism initiatives.
Value Chains and Food Security
Participation in and benefit from agricultural value chains is vital to small-scale farmers’ income generation. In El Salvador, LWR is working with farmers, local governments and the private sector to revive coffee production in the departments of Usulután and San Miguel, with emphasis on
- expanding organic coffee production,
- improving coffee quality, and
- strengthening national and international market linkages.
These efforts are aimed at increasing the incomes of small-scale farmers, and strengthening local economies. LWR’s approach emphasizes environmentally sound agricultural practices to sustain yields, provide value-added for farmers, and protect natural resources in areas susceptible to the impacts of climate change.
LWR’s focus on coffee is complemented by investments to stimulate involvement in other lucrative value chains for local economies. This includes support to strengthen producer associations and cooperatives for the production and sale of honey, organic vegetables, dried fruit, and natural body care products, as well as support for agricultural field schools to train producers in organic farming techniques and facilitate technical exchanges between farmers’ associations. LWR works to strengthen associations and cooperatives by prioritizing the development of agricultural business plans, and supporting on-farm investments through loan funds and distribution of seeds and other critical inputs.
LWR also works to strengthen local food systems and thereby provide rural families with sustained access to healthy foods. In El Salvador, LWR takes a two-pronged approach to improving local food systems. This includes support to increase and diversify crop production for consumption and sale, and strengthening producer associations and community-based organizations to better manage agricultural investments and access support from government agricultural programs.
In Usulután, LWR has helped stimulate the production of staple grains for household consumption and, through support for trainings and technical assistance, improve vegetable, poultry and meat production for consumption and sale. As a result, participating families have seen a 30 to 50 percent increase in incomes and experienced increased food security and nutrition. In the department of San Salvador, LWR is supporting the installation of family gardens, teaching organic gardening techniques and helping to increase vegetable production. These efforts are complemented by support for technical trainings, rotating loan funds, and improvements to the installations and services of agricultural field schools which provide training to small-scale farmers and promote the production of fruits, vegetables and poultry.
LWR´s investments for agriculture value chains and food security initiatives strategically build partners’ capacity to engage with and benefit from the Salvadoran government’s renewed commitment to and investments in small-scale agricultural production, including the Family Agriculture Plan. As such, LWR’s interventions help communities access and maximize existing resources by building strong community-based organizations.