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Organisation: SWISSAID, PCaC Jucuapa, PCaC San Dionisio, PCaC Darío and PCaC Odesar
Location: 4 locations in the North of Nicaragua

Project Objectives: - Improvement of food security and living standard of the indigenous population - Promotion of agro-economic technology and water-management - Transfer of knowledge about climate change and the contribution of agriculture and forestry to the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Fighting poverty and climate change through ecological agriculture in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America and particularly exposed to climate change. It is hit by ever more and stronger hurricanes and tropical storms. Also, in large parts poverty prevails, causing an increasing extent of environmental degradation and thus adversely impacting the quality of life for humans and habitat. Agriculture in particular, the most important sector of development, is extremely affected by climate change. The situation is the worst for smallholders with little land and operating at a subsistence level.

To counter this situation, cooperation with SWISSAID was sought. The project is intended to guarantee food security for small farmers and to improve their standard of living, based on their resources and means of production. The project aims at achieving a higher agricultural productivity in consideration of the climatic threats. Therefore the education of local farmers in the fields of sustainable agriculture, environment protection, health, sanitation as well as the management of farmers associations is very important.

Farmers and young people will learn about agro-economic technologies in theory and practice. These result in less emissions harmful to the environment - especially CO2 and CH4 - being reduced and protection of water catchment areas protected . At all levels - also political - knowledge on climate change and the impact of agriculture and forestry on the climate is transferred, implemented by relevant activities. Furthermore, by switching to organic agriculture, an additional more reduction of CO2 emission can be achieved. This factor, called CO2 mitigation potential, has been calculated by the experts of Care for Climate. The calculations show that the farmers altogether with more ecological agricultural methods could save CO2.

Overall the project will produce the following improvements:
  • Reduction of CO2 emission by abandoning chemical fertilizer and pesticides as well as by improved formation of humus
  • Ecological and economical efficiency due to less external input required (chemical fertilizer and pesticides, hybrid seeds). This brings about a reduction in cost, energy and CO2 emission while improving the provision of the families with healthy produce
  • Improvement of soil productivity and sustainable use of water resources
  • Production of seeds adapted to local conditions of ecology and climate.

Around 1600 farm families will benefit from this project. For the resulting CO2 reductions Swissaid and Care for Climate offer vouchers to offset CO2 emissions and thus generate additional funds for the promotion of environmentally and climate-friendly agricultural projects.

For additional information: www.swissaid.ch/en/nicaragua

Are you interested? We welcome your commitment. Join us and make a contribution towards this social and sustainable project of CHF 20.- per ton of CO2 you emit. (In Switzerland the average is 12.5 tons per person and year).

* based on the study „Enhances top soil carbon stocks under organic farming“, Andreas Gattinger, Adrian Müller, Matthias Haeni, Colin Skipper, Andreas Fliessbach, Nina Buchmann, Paul Mäder, Matthias Stolze, Pete Smith, Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, and Urs Niggli PNAS October 30, 2012

ETH Climate Blog