• Where We Work

    Honduras

Our Work in Honduras

Thanks to climate change, weather extremes are now a regular occurrence in Honduras - the poorest country in Central America. Stagnant droughts dry up rural farmer livelihoods, and frequent hurricanes devastate homes, crops and infrastructure. With few economic prospects, many rural Hondurans are forced to migrate into urban areas and other countries to earn a living. 

Since the early 1990s, Lutheran World Relief has partnered with local NGOs, government officials, farmer cooperatives, and other value chain actors in Honduras to grow inclusive and sustainable rural economies that afford Hondurans, especially women and youth, opportunities to thrive where they are. 

We work with smallholder farmers to increase their food security and their participation in and income from agriculture value chains, like coffee and cocoa. We train farmers in climate smart agricultural practices, post-harvest processing and storage as well as in value-adding skills for their products. We strengthen the capacity of cooperatives and unions that serve these farmers through trainings in governance and financial management, facilitating joint negotiation of credit and other services, and boosting collective marketing and sales. We also support young people’s voice and choice in seeking employment and starting their own businesses on and off farm through trainings geared to meet their unique needs. 

Because of our established presence in Honduras, we are ready to rapidly respond with humanitarian assistance when conflict, natural disasters, and food and water crises strike. We provide affected households with food, material resources, and cash assistance as well as shelter and WASH support. As immediate needs are met, we seamlessly transition to providing the knowledge and resources they need to start, diversify, and strengthen livelihoods and reduce their vulnerabilities in the future. 

Gender in agriculture: From policy to practice

Together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), LWR in Honduras has adopted an innovative program strategy to increase food security in agricultural communities by influencing municipal  regulations, institutional policies, and social norms in Western Honduras to reduce gender-based gaps in access to resources for productive enterprises. In addition to policy change and empowerment of women and women’s groups, LWR also uses an innovative masculinities methodology in this program to promote changes in male attitudes towards equitable political and economic participation by women. 

Agricultural value chains: Cocoa

LWR is supporting Honduras’ efforts to generate growth in the export of high-quality cocoa. In Honduras, small cocoa farm enterprises struggle to enter high-value export value chains due to limited market information and knowledge which leads to poor tree care, poor pre- and post-processing handling, and ultimately limits production quantity and quality.

Agriculture: Food security

LWR is also working in Honduras to improve food security through small-scale agriculture. In Francisco Morazán, LWR is working to establish sustainable community agricultural production in an area unable to produce sufficient food to meet household requirements. Efforts to improve production include: sustainable water management; distribution and training with improved seeds in collaboration with the Secretary of Agriculture; and establishment of demonstration plots using tunnel greenhouses and organic fertilizers. LWR is helping establish committees for the long-term management of natural resources and interchange of information. 

Humanitarian assistance: Cash transfers

Several years of severe periods of drought have caused a food crisis in the south of the Department of Lempira where there is a lack of access to basic food groups and very low economic capabilities to purchase nutritious foods. During periods of annual crisis, LWR provides immediate humanitarian relief to families to increase food availability and consumption through the distribution of cash and vouchers. As LWR stimulates the micro-economy of the area during intense dry periods, LWR is distributing assistance through a case-bycase basis while ensuring the sustainability of the community’s economic system.

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