The Diversified Agriculture Program was created by the Mangrove Association to help reduce hunger and malnutrition in southeast El Salvador by training farmers to adopt practices that increase yields, diversify production and improve soil quality. These same practices also protect the groundwater from chemical pollution and thereby protect the sensitive wetlands in the nearby Bay of Jiquilisco.
The program provides intensive training to 120 farmers for a 3-year period in permaculture, a sustainable agriculture practice which mimics the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. Each farmer designs a ‘finca diversificada’ or diversified ranch integrating many different types of vegetables, grains, fruit trees, timber trees, farm animals and fish ponds into a resilient and interdependent system. The program provides a small loan and direct technical assistance to each farmer over a 5-year period (three years of monthly training, two years of follow up) to help them implement a unique design which integrates many elements into one farm ecosystem.
In Honduras, Red COMAL, a network of small-scale farmers, cooperatives, and community micro-finance associations, provides training programs, facilitates access to credit and markets and helps thousands of Hondurans build a vibrant and equitable alternative rural economy. EcoViva’s work with Red COMAL strengthens food security among small farmers and entrepreneurs through training and technical assistance, as well as through investments in sustainable, agroecological farms.