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Programa de Reconstrucción Rural

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Public Statement 2017

Title Strengthening agricultural production for food security of rural families in western Honduras
Type of organization Non-profit organization
Country Honduras
Duration  Three years
IAF Funding   $304,000
Counterpart Committed $222,840: $124,540 cash; $98,300 in-kind
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 400
Indirect: 2,400
Primary program areas Agriculture/Food Production, Education/Training, Environment


Organization

Founded in 1983 and legally constituted in 1986, PRR is a nongovernmental organization whose mission is promote agroecological production, natural and preventative health, alternative education, and community organization of rural families to achieve socioeconomic sustainable development. PRR is known for its expertise in conserving and developing local seed varieties.

PRR is made up of a general assembly of 60 people, including individual farmers and their organizations, schoolteachers and artisanal fishermen. Appointed by a seven-member board of directors, PRR’s executive director makes decisions in consultation with technical and administrative staff and carries out actions resulting from assembly meetings. PRR has four operational areas each with a separate budget allocation, staff and coordinator: education, health, economic development and community organization.

Over 30 years, PRR has received financial support from national and international funders, including World Accord Canada, Norwegian Development Fund and Heifer International. PRR assisted the organization of 20 CIALs and supported the formation of two regional associations of CIALs. It organized six annual seed fairs and a regional seed committee and published a number of articles, pamphlets and materials on its experience and on the production of new seed varieties, both for technical and non-technical audiences. Stemming from its experience in developing strategies for conserving agrobiodiversity, PRR helped establish the National Committee of Genetic Plant Material Resources. PRR’s efforts led to the improvement of 13 local bean varieties and three local corn varieties — all with characteristics of high production level and nutritional value, and tolerance to drought and low soil fertility.

Development Objective 

To improve food supplies in four municipalities of western Honduras through agroecological production and the development better marketing of improved varieties of basic grains.

Project Description
PRR will promote the expansion of agroecological farming systems, strengthen local farmer-led agricultural research committees (or CIAL for their acronym in Spanish), and link associations of producers with local and regional markets. These activities will improve the quality of life of families in 24 communities in San Andres, Santa Cruz, Concepcion Sur and San Pedro de Zacapa municipalities in the Lempira and Santa Barbara departments in western Honduras. PRR will provide training, technical assistance, materials and access to working capital funds to diversify and improve agroecological production and ensure regional food supplies. PRR will strengthen farmer-led local and regional associations of CIALs to produce and sell improved native seed varieties favorable to challenging environmental conditions. The project will directly benefit 400 individuals; indirectly, the project will reach approximately 2400 individuals.

Rationale for Funding

Challenging environmental conditions limit farmers to unpredictable agricultural yields and increase vulnerability to food shortages. PRR will introduce environmentally-friendly responsive production methods and development of seed varieties, to improve farmers’ ability to deal with changing conditions. This project will address factors of environmental degradation that may induce migration as well as strengthen organizations that contribute to community resiliency. This grant is part of a broader IAF initiative focused on supporting economic prosperity, democracy, and governance consistent with the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America.

Learning Opportunity

PRR has been at the forefront of seed variety development in western Honduras for over 20 years. Its adoption of CIALs as the primary vehicle for rural agricultural development and seed production will shed light on how to disseminate information about contextual problem-solving in the agricultural sector in the face of extreme drought and heavy rain. This area has great potential to contribute to the improvement, adaptation, production and sale of local seed varieties to combat food shortages and the lack of economic opportunities.