Agroforestry project sows seeds of hope in drought-hit Honduras

Ivis Rene Cabrera no longer gazes up at the sky in hopes of rain to irrigate his field. He’s come to expect the long dry spells as northwestern Honduras grapples with increasingly longer periods of drought during the dry season.

Now, he and the rest of the Indigenous Tolupan community’s gaze is to the ground. Their hope lies in an agroecology project to revive the harvests on their typically fertile lands. Beans and corn, staple foods of the community, used to be bountiful in Honduras’s Yoro department, before they were hit by severe droughts.

“We used to produce 10-12 cargas [1,400-1,700 kilograms, or 3,000-3,700 pounds] each, and now we cannot cultivate the crops anymore in many parts of Yoro. The drought-led crop failure has led many people to migrate to other areas in search of better livelihood opportunities,” Cabrera says.

In 2021, to build community agricultural resilience to climate hazards in Yoro, Spain-based NGO Ayuda en Acción and its Honduran partner, FUNACH, introduced an initiative where 1,669 people, almost equal parts women and men, participated in multiple synchronized strategies to help them adapt to hazards like droughts.

Agroforestry in particular has helped Cabrera find his way back to the fields.

“We have now begun harvesting all year around as we cultivate different foods. The support that we received in building water systems helped us experiment and harvest new crops like leafy greens and avocados. It helps bring food to my table,” Cabrera tells Mongabay.


Source: Mongabay | by Sonam Lama Hyolmo