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2019-20 Report: Agros International

Donation: $150,000

Our donation helped Agros provide 97 subsistence farmers (more than 500 beneficiaties) in three villages of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, with training on climate-smart agriculture practices. Since the start of the project, 63 of those families have shifted the way they see agriculture production, increased their crop yields and household incomes, decreased their use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and adopted water-conserving irrigation systems.

Matagalpa is a region highly sensitive to extreme weather, where hurricanes, excessive rainfall, and drought often lead to crop losses, financial hardship, and an ongoing cycle of poverty. Agros is committed to providing these farmers with the tools and infrastructure needed to reduce their vulnerability to the environment and any future economic stresses.

As of August 2020, Agros had established a vermicompost production and training facility (which has produced more than 50 tons of compost and 20,000 pounds of biofertilizers), created a nursery, produced 41,000 seedlings, built a water irrigation system, and installed a hydroponic module. As a result, families have seen the number of harvests increase from one to three — improving their crop yields by 18 percent and their household incomes by 15 percent. In addition, thanks to 97 families participating in the vermicompost workshop, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is down 40 percent in the area, while pest incidence is down 50 percent.

In response to COVID-19, Agros identified the most vulnerable families in the program and supplied them with an emergency hygiene, food, and agricultural package, and provided training and washing stations to prevent the spread of the virus. Agros also hired a doctor as part of their staff to improve the health of the families in their villages and continued to train health volunteers to monitor the development of children under five years old.