Three decades developing agroecology in Nicaragua

Since the mid-1980s, the promotion of soil management practices and the incorporation of other farming techniques have taken place in Nicaragua, pushed by the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG).

After the Farmer to Farmer Program [PCAP] started in 1986, it has developed a methodology of learning by doing, placing great value on the knowledge of the campesino family, including women and young people.

Difficulties in meeting technical standards

PCAC promoters considered a success the 2011 approval of the Agro-ecological or Organic Production Development Law. It will enter into force with the Nicaraguan Mandatory Technical Standard (NTON), which creates a blueprint for tools that develop agro-ecological production, allowing the characterization of the production units, such as the development of management plans to guide the transformation of production processes in terms of compliance with the NTON.

Nevertheless, there isn’t consensus on the application of NTON, said Jorge Vásquez, an expert with the PCAC, because “producers are questioning the dissemination of technical standards, especially as pertains to incentives, because that has to do with the assistance, which remains unclear,” he told Latinamerica Press.

Another factor aiding the agro-ecological movement is the Food Sovereignty and Security Strategy within the government’s National Human Development Plan, with the goal to “reduce food and nutrition insecurity in the rural population, rooted in small- and medium-scale food producers.”

The government’s document on Sectorial Policies for Food Security states that “food security and sovereignty reflects to the state of availability and stability in the food supply for everyone, everyday, in a timely manner to ensure nutritional wellbeing and enable [people] to make good biological use of food to achieve development without affecting the ecosystem.”

The Nicaraguan Agro-ecological Movement, comprising organizations that defend ecological practices in production systems, is establishing strategies for campaigns to counter unrestrained propaganda promoting the use of agrochemicals. Instead, it is encouraging agro-biodiversity, which has to do with the conservation of genetic resources related to agriculture, native seed conservation and crop diversification.

Source | Latinamerica Press