AFCIPRA met target, reduced vulnerability to climate change

Lenca and Mestizo farming families in Honduras now implement at least one resilient food production practice as a result of EUROCLIMA+ action, with the AFCIPRA Project.

Honduras, 30 November 2021 - Some 882 producers from communities in the dry corridor of Honduras reduced their vulnerability to climate change and improved their capacities for resilient food production as a result of the implementation of the Climate-Smart Family Farming for Resilient Food Production Project (AFCIPRA), as part of the EUROCLIMA+ actions.

The project supported 882 individual producers (269 women) in the production chains: honey, coffee, basic grains and livestock, with investments, training and technical assistance in practices for Resilient Food Production (RFP).

"We worked on a capacity building process to generate skills in small producers and their families to produce food despite climate change, climate variability and all the negative externalities to which they are exposed," said the Project Coordinator, Douglas Benavidez. 

Some 882 farmers (269 women) selected, validated and implemented RFP practices on 826.4 hectares.

Small-scale producer of basic grains, coffee and vegetables, Elia Chávez Domínguez, 59, from the community of Morazán, seems to be a born expert on climate change resilience practices and how to improve her production. She did not have this knowledge two years ago, prior to the AFCIPRA project.  

"The experience with the project has been very good, they have supported us with inputs, technical advice and we have learned how to manage the farm, how to use lime, plant living barriers, organic fertilisers, and much more. Working in association with the environment, which is something we didn't know about," says the producer leader.

"The project has been a great help for us. Before, we had plots of land where we could plant, but we didn't know how to do it. We sowed, but because we didn't use the best practices, our crops were lost," said Elia. 

Meanwhile, in the community of Las Marías, municipality of Cabañas, La Paz, the producer Luis Argueta Reyes, emphasises that the producer families have received training in the cultivation of basic grains, seed selection, sowing spacing, living barriers, soil conservation, all of these environmentally friendly practices. 

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     Luis Argueta and Rumaldo Marquez, producers and beneficiaries of the AFCIPRA project

"The project has supported us technically and with inputs. As the soil is prepared, and techniques and practices are applied in the face of climate change, there is greater production," says Argueta.

Elia emphasises that with AFCIPRA she not only has the knowledge "that no one will take away from her", but she has also managed to improve her production and the quality of her harvests. "Before I used to sow two tareas (15 cans) of beans and got one quintal, now I sow two tareas and get almost nine quintals with the practices and the follow-up of the technicians," she adds.

Water governance mechanism created and strengthened 

Another important outcome of the AFCIPRA project is that it promoted and implemented a multi-stakeholder and multi-level water governance model. It was established in accordance with current Honduran legislation and allowed for multi-stakeholder participation in the process. It also established a water governance structure that considers the watershed as the management unit and water as the integrating resource.

Benavidez indicates that the project worked hand in hand with the General Directorate of Water Resources and the municipalities to conduct this process, which resulted in the formation of two Micro-watershed Councils, El Venado and Chiflador-Guaralape. These councils oversee the management of ecosystem goods and services and the general management of the watershed.

In addition, two micro-watershed water action plans were developed as a management tool, which is guiding governance structures on how to properly manage water resources.

"These water governance models are creating an enabling environment for Resilient Food Production (RFP). The RFP considers the potential of the micro-watershed and how it is being managed, as it generates the goods and services needed by producer families to develop their livelihoods at the farm level," added Benavidez.

Producer Luis Argueta stresses that the Project worked to ensure that the population had the necessary knowledge about the micro-watersheds, how many people are benefitting from them, where they depend on them, and what can be done in terms of prevention to protect them. 

"Before, we knew that micro-watersheds existed, but they were not recognised, there was no committee, there was nothing. This is valuable. The work that has been done to investigate everything that micro-watersheds are and the risks that exist if they are not protected," adds Argueta. 

This producer leader is also a member of the Chiflador/Guaralape Micro-basin Council. "Everything that has to do with climate change is unknown in the countryside, there was no entity that took an interest in explaining to the citizens how the situation of climate change is, starting from there, we value the work of AFCIPRA, it has been an effort with great impact", adds the producer.  

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Elia Chavez, coffee producer and beneficiary of the AFCIPRA project

A green inclusive financing model was designed.

Benavidez highlighted as a third result of AFCIPRA the design of a Green Rural Inclusive Finance Model. The model proposes the most suitable financial product for a small producer to access credit to produce food in a resilient way, which would allow the sustainability of food production by smallholder families. 

In addition, economic empowerment activities were promoted with women through the creation of Self-Management Groups (GAG) for savings and loans. Twenty GAG groups were organised with the participation of 247 women. 

The GAGs have collected savings of 4.3 thousand euros and provided loans to clients for 10.5 thousand euros.

The producer Elia is very happy to say that they now even have savings from the GAG women's groups. "We have a self-saving group and we managed two Mallas houses (vegetable production technology) where we grew sweet peppers. It was a very good experience, we gained experience in cultivation and marketing," she adds.

Dissemination and sustainability 

At the regional level, the Project led efforts to create a Synergy group between project implementers in the EUROCLIMA+ Resilient Food Production (RFP) and Forest, Biodiversity and Ecosystems (FBE) sectors of EUROCLIMA+. In this space, lessons learned have been shared, and synergies and complementarities have been made with the organisations. "The synergies are leading to agreements with the organisations," said Benavidez.

The Synergy Group allowed for coordination with implementing organisations to see the possibilities of submitting a Concept Note to the Adaptation Fund for a regional project that would include Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, which would implement the already validated best practices. 

"All the lessons learned are being used by governmental institutions, such as the Presidential Office for Climate Change in Honduras, as inputs for the development of territorial policies related to climate change," said Benavidez.

Benavidez also highlighted that in alliance with the Foundation for Rural Business Development (FUNDER), the Association for Integrated Watershed Management of La Paz and Comayagua (ASOMAINCUPACO), and the Dutch Development Cooperation Service (SNV), a Concept Note was formulated using the same model of the AFCIPRA Project to scale it up to the department of El Paraíso, in three sub-watersheds in the municipalities of Danlí, El Paraíso and Arauja.

"This climate action will take up these solutions and best practices considering the social, economic and environmental context," added Benavidez. 

The scaling up of AFCIPRA will be in the coffee chain with a focus on Agroforestry Systems, with greater emphasis on Inclusive Green Rural Finance and economic empowerment through models such as sustainable value chains and inclusive businesses. 

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Meanwhile, from the communities of Morazán and Las Marías, Elia and Argueta agree that the legacy of knowledge left by the project with the Resilient Food Production practices "no one is going to take away". We are now stronger, they say. 

"These practices that we have learned have been of many benefits, we already have the awareness, the teaching that with climate change, if we manage the plots responsibly, it is very profitable," says producer leader Elia.

    productora Elia Chavez cafe                                                            

Producer Elia Chavez

Between growing corn and beans, Argueta, with aplomb and consternation (due to the end of the project), indicates that "the knowledge remains with us to continue following up, and if we apply this practice, in some way we are cooperating with climate change and the environment".


The AFCIPRA project had an investment of more than 1.2 million euros provided by the European Union, through EUROCLIMA+. It promoted, from June 2019 to December 2021, resilient food production in at least 600 families of Lenca indigenous communities and the mestizo population, under a sustainable water resource management approach in the El Venado and Chiflador/ Guaralape watersheds of Honduras. 

It was implemented by SNV and ASOMAINCUPACO. Its strategic partner was the Centro Universitario Regional del Centro (CURC-UNAH) and its political counterparts were the Presidential Office for Climate Change of Honduras (ClimaPlus) and the Ministry of Environment of Guatemala.

Editorial staff

Judit Vanegas, Communication Specialist AFCIPRA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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