Last summer, we wrote about the beginning of what would become a 40-day drought in El Salvador. At the time, we were concerned about what this would mean for our partners and the many community members around the Bay of Jiquilisco that depend on small-scale farming for their livelihoods. What we heard from them was devastating — entire plots had dried out, and when the rain finally came, it was too much and ruined what little had managed to take root. Now, almost a year later, an estimated 239,000 people are in a food crisis and 63,000 people could face a food emergency. If another drought hits the region, it will exacerbate the need and hunger community members are already facing.
The Mangrove Association, one of our partners in El Salvador, runs a diversified agriculture program that works to mitigate crop vulnerability and help small-scale farmers that were devastated by last year’s drought. Through the program, farmers gain expertise in organic agriculture and learn how to diversify their crops so they can withstand the increasingly erratic weather patterns that are impacting the region. Growing multiple crops, a practice known as polyculture, instead of relying on fewer crop types, as in traditional monoculture, can increase overall yield and allow farmers to adapt to a harsher climate. Farmers learn to integrate many different types of vegetables, grains, fruit trees, farm animals and fish ponds into a resilient and interdependent system that strengthens and magnifies production capabilities.
The program has supported and improved food security for more than 350 families in the Bay of Jiquilisco.
Supporting small-scale farmers as they adapt to a changing climate is possible, but we need your investment.
Can you make a donation to support farmers in El Salvador as they prepare to plant for the next season? A $25 gift can buy 350 green pepper plants that will help dozens of farmers become more self-sufficient. Green pepper plants are a high yield crop and grow steadily throughout the season, so farmers can harvest profitable levels of produce each week. Your gift can really make a difference, but they need your support today.