CENTRAL AMERICA – Nicaragua

‘Enterprise inclusive markets’ create the right conditions for growth for small producers who sell locally, although some do sell to International groups. In Nicaragua, Hibiscus is sold to large American supermarkets whilst coffee beans from SOPPEXCA are exported as Fairtrade goods. These Christian Aid partners are looking to transform the coffee trade in Nicaragua by marketing the coffee in their own coffee shops. This would be a real step forward as it would add value to the product. Conscious of the need to diversify, the groups are also looking to produce more cocoa.

Christian Aid partners are also working on climate change adaptation and advocacy. Vital education is needed to help farmers understand the implications for the future of their crops because of the changes in climate they are experiencing. Research is also needed to find drought resistant seeds and crops. It is the range of variations in the weather, with drought and then flooding, that is causing so many difficulties for the farmers.

Mining When the Nicaraguan government opened its doors to the first International Mining Congress, over 1,000 people from communities affected by mining projects were barred by police from travelling to the capital city to participate in a march organised by Christian Aid partner Centro Humbolt* in defence of the environment. Partner Movimiento Comunal, member of the Matagalpa Strategic Mining Alliance, declared that “the government has violated articles of the constitution which permit free mobilisation and expression in defence of public goods.”

*Centro Humbolt promotes environmental development and management. Their strategic objectives include influencing public environmental policies and promoting efficient environmental management. They empower different sectors of civil society to provide information, to help build capacity and to carry out monitoring and research on environmental impact.

Author: David Wiggs

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