Sustainable Harvest Nicaragua was recently visited by members of the SHI Board who met with local families and staff. Board Member Melissa Bride said, “SHI’s work in Nicaragua is impressive. Working in very remote areas in the Atlantic Coast Region, Sustainable Harvest Nicaragua (SHN) is reaching many families in need. And word is spreading! During our short stay in the area, new groups of women and small farmers approached us asking for technical help on their farms. Current families working with SHN are pleased with their success, and want continued help in increasing yields and getting their produce to market. I was particularly impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of some farmers working with SHN. One in particular wanted to start a micro business that would employ poor local farmers in harvesting and processing sugar cane to make syrups and candies. This farmer’s desire to improve his own life and the lives of those in his community is proof that with just a little help, those most in need have the power to reverse the cycle of poverty and environmental degradation.”
Sustainable Harvest Honduras recently hosted SHI’s annual training workshop for staff from all four country programs. This event is an important opportunity for field staff to share ideas and knowledge as well as participate in workshops on new techniques. Highlights included a workshop from Eliot Coleman on organic management of soils and crops and Julie Major provided hands-on training in biochar.
Families working with Sustainable Harvest International’s Panama program are gaining access to markets. Milina Solis, who coordinates the micro finance and small business program, helps families and cooperatives build relationships with buyers committed to purchasing fair trade and organic produce. In the past three months, the Panama program has also initiated many projects to improve soil quality and family nutrition including 37 compost and vermiculture projects and 39 new family gardens. During the second quarter of the fiscal year, families planted just over 1,000 trees as part of reforestation, erosion control and orchard projects.
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Voices from the Field