European Union and IICA join forces to minimize food and nutrition insecurity for 1,508 families in the Trifinio region of Central America
San Jose, 19 October 2021 (IICA). The European Union (EU) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) set in motion a plan to aid 1,508 farming families in the Trifinio region—the border territory shared by El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala—in strengthening smallholder and backyard production for self-consumption through good agricultural practices under agroforestry systems and, in turn, mitigate food and nutrition insecurity aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was achieved through the actions of the Adapted Agroforestry Systems for the Central American Dry Corridor project (AGRO-INNOVA) and the Central American Program for Integrated Coffee Rust Management (PROCAGICA) in coordination with the Lempa River Trinational Border Community (MTFRL) and the support of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE).
Starting in June 2020, technical assistance, technology transfer and knowledge management strategies were implemented to help build the capacities of farming families, who were also provided with plant material and agricultural inputs to strengthen and reactivate staple food production under Multistrata Agroforestry System (SAFM) models.
The actions also included developing and applying technical guides and good agricultural practices to help steer implementation of smallholder and backyard crop diversification models for self-consumption, promoted by AGRO-INNOVA and PROCAGICA, to provide an optimal and comprehensive response to the 18 municipalities with the highest food and nutrition insecurity rates in the trinational community.
The mayors of the different municipalities making up the Trifinio region aided in executing the Lempa River Trinational Border Community Support Plan for Food and Nutrition Insecurity Resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In executing the plan on the ground, in addition to providing direct technical assistance to the farming families, virtual and telephonic technical coaching strategies were implemented in areas with better connectivity.
The Trifinio Region: a synonym of vulnerability
The Trifinio region is one of the poorest areas in the Western Hemisphere and has one of the highest rates of food and nutrition insecurity, and agricultural production and climate vulnerability.
According to data from the Lempa River Trinational Border Community, it has a population of 700,000 inhabitants in an area spanning 7,542 Km2, distributed among Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Approximately 21% of the population is living in a state of food crisis or emergency or is at high risk due to their agricultural production methods.
Financed by the EU and executed by IICA, the program focuses on contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies for staple crop and livestock production for smallholders through innovation, research, transparency and outreach in Multistrata Agroforestry Systems (SAFM), with the aim to preserve biodiversity, increase productivity and improve the food security of highly vulnerable families in the Central American Dry Corridor.
Also financed by the EU and executed by IICA, the project’s purpose is to increase the region’s capacity to design and implement policies, programs and measures to improve the adaptive capacity, response and resilience of the most vulnerable population living in coffee producing areas of Central America and the Dominican Republic who are exposed to the adverse effects of climate change and variability.
Pedro Avendaño Soto, Coordinator of the AGRO-INNOVA Regional Executing Unit.
Harold Gamboa, Coordinator of the PROCAGICA Regional Executing Unit.