Honduras

Building an Agricultural Extension Program in a Coffee-Producing Region
of Rural Honduras

Honduras

Building an Agricultural Extension Program in a Coffee-Producing Region of Rural Honduras

Honduras

Building an Agricultural Extension Program in a Coffee-Producing Region of Rural Honduras

Project Summary

The development of the agricultural extension program took place in the Honduran village of Majastre, Guaimaca. The project was sponsored by the Peace Corps and two local organizations, and the community was chosen for two reasons. First, conserving the site was important for its incredible ecological value because of its location in the buffer zone of the Biological Reserve El Chile. Second, farmers in the community had significant challenges in maintaining household income for many reasons such as lack of infrastructure, poor quality soils and low coffee prices.

The project partners identified conversion to organic coffee production as a pathway forward to meet both ecological and human wellbeing goals. Shade-grown production was shown to be better for organic coffee, so the extension program was designed to build capacity of farmers and increase farm household income while reforesting the watershed.

The program was developed and implemented over a period of 4 years, and consisted of the following:

  • Creation of a coffee cooperative, building capacity of that group and achieving organization certification. The certification opened up export markets to an otherwise isolated group, leading to higher incomes.
  • Development and execution of over 50 workshops on diverse subjects including organic agricultural techniques, small business management, grant writing, and how to increase ecotourism in your community.
  • Successful acquisition of funding for improved woodstoves, which decrease indoor air contamination and reduce deforestation; constructed 30 woodstoves.
  • Created a women’s cooperative to train on value added products (roasted coffee, jams, vinegars, etc.) to increase household income. Also received funding for a high-volume coffee roasting machine for the women’s cooperative.
  • Worked with the elementary schools and a state agency, Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal, to plant tree nurseries and reforest the community.
Project

Building an Agricultural Extension Program in a Coffee-Producing Region of Rural Honduras

Partners

Peace Corps and Instituto Nacional de Ambiente y Desarrollo

Focus

Agricultural extension, organic coffee, value-added agriculture, gender equality and women’s empowerment, watershed reforestation

Location

Honduras

Years

2000-2004

Project Summary

The development of the agricultural extension program took place in the Honduran village of Majastre, Guaimaca. The project was sponsored by the Peace Corps and two local organizations, and the community was chosen for two reasons. First, conserving the site was important for its incredible ecological value because of its location in the buffer zone of the Biological Reserve El Chile. Second, farmers in the community had significant challenges in maintaining household income for many reasons such as lack of infrastructure, poor quality soils and low coffee prices.

The project partners identified conversion to organic coffee production as a pathway forward to meet both ecological and human wellbeing goals. Shade-grown production was shown to be better for organic coffee, so the extension program was designed to build capacity of farmers and increase farm household income while reforesting the watershed.

The program was developed and implemented over a period of 4 years, and consisted of the following:

  • Creation of a coffee cooperative, building capacity of that group and achieving organization certification. The certification opened up export markets to an otherwise isolated group, leading to higher incomes.
  • Development and execution of over 50 workshops on diverse subjects including organic agricultural techniques, small business management, grant writing, and how to increase ecotourism in your community.
  • Successful acquisition of funding for improved woodstoves, which decrease indoor air contamination and reduce deforestation; constructed 30 woodstoves.
  • Created a women’s cooperative to train on value added products (roasted coffee, jams, vinegars, etc.) to increase household income. Also received funding for a high-volume coffee roasting machine for the women’s cooperative.
  • Worked with the elementary schools and a state agency, Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal, to plant tree nurseries and reforest the community.
Project

Building an Agricultural Extension Program in a Coffee-Producing Region of Rural Honduras

Partners

Peace Corps and Instituto Nacional de Ambiente y Desarrollo

Focus

Agricultural extension, organic coffee, value-added agriculture, gender equality and women’s empowerment, watershed reforestation

Location

Honduras

Years

2000-2004

Sunset Environmental Economist

Photo courtesy Damon Noe    

contact us

Elizabeth Schuster, Economist

Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 243-249-0298
Email: eschuster@sustainableeconomiesconsulting.com

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contact us

Elizabeth Schuster, Economist

Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 243-249-0298
Email: eschuster@sustainableeconomiesconsulting.com

connect

contact us

Elizabeth Schuster, Economist

Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 243-249-0298
Email: eschuster@sustainableeconomiesconsulting.com

connect

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