Face-to-face and virtual field schools strengthen capacities in RFP

SINERGIAS Group of EUROCLIMA+ Projects in Central America carried out the 4th conversation with personnel of the projects in the region.

Central America, November 06, the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) shared their experience in the development of Farmer Field Schools (Spanish acronym ECAs) using both face-to-face and virtual methodologies, as a strategy for strengthening local capacities after COVID19 in the Resilient Food Production (RFP) sector during the 4th virtual chat held on November 2 by the SINERGIAS Group of EUROCLIMA+ projects in Central America.

The development of ECAs for capacity building in the livestock sector of El Salvador is part of the roadmap for the construction of the country's livestock NAMA, said Mr. Jorge Trejo, National Coordinator of the EUROCLIMA+ Project “Support for the formulation of Appropriate Mitigation Actions in Central American Agriculture”. IICA is implementing this regional scope project in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in El Salvador for the livestock sector and with the Ministry of Agricultural Development in Panama for the rice sector.

He stressed that with this methodology they have contributed to strengthening the capacities of livestock farmers in the project's intervention areas in Morazán and Chalatenango in El Salvador for resilient low-carbon livestock production, with knowledge of silvopastoral arrangements of pastures and fodder as well as rational and rotational grazing that will allow for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction in soil degradation and an increase in the capacity to produce food for livestock in the rainy season and use it in the dry season, especially in the Central American Dry Corridor area affected by climate variability and change.

Trejo highlighted the two Experimental Pilot Farms as a key factor in the success of the field schools. These have all the techniques and the rational and rotational pasture management systems in silvopastoral systems have been set up, with their respective animal watering systems in each of the 30 rotation plots, as well as the planting of 150 multipurpose Kiri trees (Paulownia elongata) and four other tree species. To date, four of the ECA topics have already been implemented in the 9 sites they call Productive Development Centres (PDCs).

    ALEJANDRO ECA SAN CARLOS                                      Field School San Carlos

For her part, Ms. Gabriela Jiménez, coordinator of the EUROCLIMA+ project Climate Change Resilient Coffee Landscapes in the tri-national area covering the dry corridor of Honduras, and implemented by IHCAFE in cooperation with the Hans R. Neumann Foundation, shared the experience of an ECA for training coffee leaders to promote the generational overlap of the sector, and the strategy for adaptation to a virtual process during the COVID 19 pandemic.

She stressed that they designed an attractive training process for young people on: Agroclimatic Business Management and Sustainable Coffee Growing in six modules with the participation of 100 male and female leaders.

Jiménez indicated that the methodological approach includes: a general training process, a technical training process that includes learning by doing and exchange tours; as well as a field replication process.

The virtual process in coffee has been an opportunity because it has allowed them to have international experts participating in the training process. As success factors of the virtual coffee ECAs, Jiménez mentioned: local empowerment, sustainability, and addressing current and attractive topics for young people.

About the SINERGIAS group

The Sinergias group consists of the technical teams of the projects supported by the EUROCLIMA+ programme in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which implement actions in the agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) sector. In this space they have identified issues of common interest among the implementers, which - among others - are leading to a series of discussions for the technical team of the group’s member projects to share experiences (best practices and lessons learned) and contribute to the scaling up and enhancement of impacts, with a South-South cooperation approach.

    Foto 2 Experiencia ECAs CAFE                                  Experiencia de ECAs café


EUROCLIMA+ is a programme financed by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policy (FIIAPP), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and UN Environment.

More information:

EC+ CA Sinergias group projects, Douglas Benavidez, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Editor: Judit Vanegas, Communication Specialist AFCIPRA Project.


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