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2019-20 Report: Food 4 Farmers

Donation: $50,000

Our donation allowed Food 4 Farmers (F4F) to teach climate-smart practices to six co-operatives representing more than 8,000 coffee-farming families in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Columbia. Their goals: to strengthen local food systems, stabilize incomes, reduce deforestation, and enhance food security.

F4F educates farmers in three interconnected ways. Their Home Garden Program teaches local farmers how to ensure seed diversity, produce organic compost and pesticides, prevent soil erosion, and construct low-cost water management systems. Their Beekeeping and Farmers Market Programs help farmers generate supplemental income, replace processed foods and sugar with healthier alternatives, and create new local job opportunities. And their Community Promotor Program trains and empowers young women and men from each community to teach climate-smart techniques to more families, monitor existing programs, and solve problems as they arise — ensuring the long-term sustainability of the project.

So far, working with their six co-op partners, F4F has established 373 organic home gardens in Nicaragua and Columbia. In Mexico, 86 beekeepers saw a 41 percent increase in income due to improved honey quality and are now looking to gain an organic certification and expand their businesses. In Guatemala, 13 new beekeepers were added to the 36 already operating, and a nursery has been created to provide pollinator-friendly plants to the program participants for free. In addition, F4F provided 230 families with basic literacy training to help them improve the management of their farms, trained 29 new food security and beekeeping promotors, and developed four school gardens in Nicaragua (aimed at teaching 29 teachers and 657 students and their parents about good nutrition and healthy food).

Over the coming year, F4F will add 187 family gardens — 17 in Nicaragua, 80 in Guatemala, and 90 in Columbia — and will expand into eight more schools in Nicaragua.