Cooperative Multisectoral Campo Verde Madriz R.L. (COMCAVEM)

Enhancing farmers’ climate resilience

The project supports the climate resilience of farms in the value chains of vegetables, fruits, cattle, poultry, pork and goats. The project optimizes the use of water through rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and farmer-managed regeneration of forests. The project supports local the production and processing of goat milk and meat. When managed well, goats are a less climate risky and a more climate friendly livelihood option than the currently prevailing livestock production. As a result, a total of 127 trained goat farmers sold 4000 liters of milk and 1135 kg of meat in 2019. 

The project uses a value chain approach in which critical bottle necks in the value chain are identified and corrective measures implemented. For example, the project has improved the availability of fodder and water in dry months through collective planning and development initiatives. The project has constructed over 30 rainwater harvesting dams that collect over 180 000 m3 of rainwater yearly, which is a 100 000 m3 more than in 2017. According to an external evaluation, the profitability of farms has increased by 30 % due to rainwater collection and drip irrigation. In addition, a value chain approach underlines the importance of processing, product development and commercialization from the beginning of the development process. 

Climate change and extreme weather events like hurricanes decrease farm production. Harmful practices like deforestation increase the vulnerability of farms to climate change. On the other hand, landscape-scale conservation can increase farmers’ resilience. Being in the middle of a political crisis, the government does not have the political will to enhance climate adaptation and mitigation which negatively affect project beneficiaries’ livelihood. For example, increasing deforestation in the hills causes landslides, erosion and it deteriorates the water management of watersheds. Preventing this from happening in the current political situation is beyond the power of project beneficiaries.  

Women’s incomes have now exceeded men’s incomes and women participate more in economic activities than prior to the project. The project has also encouraged women to start business activities that are better suited to climate change. 

Nicaraguan käsityöläiset iloitsemassa uusien tuotteidensa kanssa. Kuva EsteliLive

Manos Nicas network of artisans

Empowering women and men handicraft entrepreneurs personally and commercially  

The project aims for personal and commercial empowerment of artisans in the Manos Nicas network. The project strengthens entrepreneurs’ and Manos Nicas staff’s business skills, as well as product development and sales network on national and international levels.  

Manos Nicas still needs to attract more skillful and determined artisans who can produce quality products with efficiency. In the current political situation, long-term commercial planning is challenging. However, since the political crisis in 2018, the project has already managed to exceed the sales levels prior to the crisis. The value of product sales was 95 000 USD in 2019 when in 2017 it was 70 000 USD. Manos Nicas also launched new products and with successful marketing strategies increased sales to Nicaraguans after tourists deserted the country. 

Manos Nicas has potential collaborators in Costa Rica and USA that can help with exporting. Cooperation with APEN is important when the project exits in 2021.