NSC hurricane funds help build climate resilient agriculture & food sovereignty
In November 2020 two catastrophic hurricanes of unprecedented strength struck Nicaragua, a consequence of the climate crisis. This came at a time when the country was already reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic and US sanctions.
Winds of up to 155mph and torrential rain struck at the worst possible time and destroyed coffee and food crops such as beans, maize, vegetables just as the harvest was about to start.
NSC launched an online appeal for our partner organisation the Rural Workers Association (ATC) for funds to support agroecology programmes essential to building climate resilience agriculture and food sovereignty.
Through our hurricane appeal and Gift for Nicaragua contributions donated with sales items NSC raised £2,500 which we have transferred to the ATC.
The ATC is using these funds at their Latin American Institute for Agroecology (IALA) Ixim Ulew
where over 100 students from across Central America are studying.
The IALA is based in the central region of Chontales where the hurricanes caused substantial loss of livestock, crops of beans and some maize as well as damage and destruction of homes, roads and bridges.
The government used well established procedures at national and local levels to prevent loss of life and address the immediate needs of the population in the aftermath of such a catastrophic disaster. This included infrastructure repairs, materials for rebuilding homes and seeds and other inputs for 150,000 farmers to enable them to replant the lost bean harvest.
The focus at IALA Ixim Ulew, as part of the ATC, has been to expand agroecological methods systems resilient in climate extremes such as hurricanes and to contribute to “cooling the planet’.
Expanding agroecological farming to build food sovereignty and resilience to climate extremes
These projects will diversify the existing production system at the IALA campus itself and provide healthy food for the IALA students and workers, many of whom come from areas and/or are from small farms badly affected by hurricanes.
The projects themselves aim to have a multiplier effect in two ways. Firstly, through an interchange of knowledge and experience between IALA students and local farmers and communities in the Chontales region. Secondly, on returning home on completion of their courses, the IALA students put into practice the experience gained at IALA to own organisations and communities.
Diversifying and expanding local production of healthy food
The funds that NSC raised will contribute to diversifying and expanding local food production, with an emphasis on livestock (to include different breeds of small livestock) and beans (to cultivate different local varieties and safely build reserves of local seeds).
IALA is focusing specifically on:
– Production of vegetables and basic grains and their seeds, including safe storage of seed reserves
– Production and reproduction of a local breed of sheep called pelibuey kept for meat
– Production and reproduction of native chickens
– Strengthening of worm compost systems
Our grateful thanks to all NSC members and supporters who have contributed to this project.