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2020-21 Report: Agros International

2021 donation: $100,000
Donations to date: $250,000

Our donations allowed Agros to continue to expand their agribusiness center in Nicaragua and help more than 500 farming families learn how to use hydroponics, vermicomposting, and reforestation techniques to improve soil conditions, increase their yields, produce healthier food, help with the reforestation effort, protect water recharge zones, and generate more income.

Current farming methods produce a third of all greenhouse emissions worldwide — but they don't meet the world's growing demand for food and don't generate enough income for those growing the food. Agros believes that there is a solution to break the cycle of poverty for farming families in rural Latin America: land ownership, market-led agriculture, financial empowerment, and sustainable climate-smart farming practices.

Since our partnership began, Agros has transformed their model, incorporating new performance indicators and key data to track the effectiveness of their climate-smart programs. They have developed a vermicompost production and training facility (reducing the use of chemical-based fertilizers by 40 percent), created a nursery, produced over 41,000 seedlings, built a water irrigation system, and installed community hydroponic modules and family-oriented greenhouses. As a result, they have created highly productive areas of land, reduced pests, and given women the opportunity to diversify their household income by selling surplus produce to other community members.

Going forward, Agros intends to finish their work by graduating three climate-smart villages where each family is fully independent and has an average net worth of $20,000: San José, Nueva San José, and La Bendición. In this step, Agros will ensure each village has newly installed community hydroponic modules for water-efficient farming, confirm their harvest collection centers are certified, and install ecological latrines, showers, stoves, and water filters, saving over 1.6 million gallons of water and 90,000 kg of wood per year. In addition, Agros will reforest over 47 acres of land, certify all of the plantations with the Rainforest Alliance, and register 226 acres of forest under a sustainable forest management program.

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.