Today, Agros is innovating in two countries—Nicaragua and Guatemala—to break the cycle of poverty and create paths to prosperity. Our missional work in each country is rooted in at least one and often several of our four opportunity areas. Outside the four opportunity areas—which remain constant from year to year—these new initiatives represent our latest and most innovative strategies for helping families move permanently out of poverty and into prosperity.
Village within a Village
Currently Agros is advancing land ownership by inviting new families onto unutilized land in already existing Agros villages. Because of the adoption of modern agricultural techniques, families can produce more on less land. Additionally, because vital village infrastructure is already in place, the cost per family is reduced. The Agros village of Nueva San José, Nicaragua, is a prime example of a “village within a village,” as it shares physical proximity, as well as key infrastructure, with the Agros village of San José.
Climate Smart Agriculture
Climate change, agriculture, and poverty are deeply intertwined. Current farming methods do not meet the world’s growing demand for food, do not generate enough income for those growing the food, and contribute a third of all greenhouse emissions worldwide. We are investing in modern production systems that significantly increase the number of harvests and increase the yield of each harvest—meaning more income and more food is generated on less land with fewer emissions. We are especially excited that a special partnership with Rick Steves will facilitate the continued growth of our Climate Smart Agribusiness Center in San José, Nicaragua.
Harvest of Hope Centers
Harvest of Hope Centers (HHCs) are Agros’ method for delivering high quality, fair development services that respond to the needs of a particular region. For example, in La Dalia, Nicaragua, the HHCs focus on agribusiness development while in the Ixil region of Guatemala, services focus on chronic child malnutrition and food systems. The “one-stop-shop” approach of HHCs allow families from any village to access the full breadth of Agros’ programs. This approach reaches more families, more quickly and more effectively with a greater depth of service.
Entrepreneurship for Women
One of the best ways to eradicate poverty is to invest in entrepreneurship for women. In collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Agros is building a network of savings and loans associations, also known as village banks, to help 900 women start saving, learn how to manage credit, and launch their own market-oriented production initiatives. Woman-led businesses help diversify household income and increase the likelihood that profits are reinvested to improve family well-being.