SEEDS FOR SMILES
Growing change and harvesting smiles in Nicaragua
ANF in alliance with Food For the Poor, Greater Impact Foundation, and local counterparts launched the project “Seeds for Smiles” or SAS (for its acronym in Spanish), which will benefit 1,000 small-scale farmers through the promotion of agricultural development as a means to reduce poverty and provide food for Nicaraguan children and adults in high-risk situations.
This project seeks to find an innovative solution in an everchanging social-economic situation as well as a means to adapt to the effects of climate change in the country. The areas of influence are the rural communities of the departments of Estelí, Madriz, and Nueva Segovia, which belong to the dry corridor of Nicaragua and are characterized for low levels of rainfall and high vulnerability to climate change.
SAS has a duration of 3 years and is divided in two phases which will support a total of 1,000 small-scale bean and seed farmers. In its initial phase, the project will provide technical assistance, agricultural tools, and organic material to 400 bean farmers and 100 improved seed farmers. The second phase will expand to support 500 more farmers, for a total of 1,000 direct beneficiaries and 5,000 indirect beneficiaries. The sustainability of the project will be guaranteed with the use of resistant climate change seeds, incursion into new markets and the strengthening of two rural cooperatives, Cooperativa 20 de Abril and UNAG Nueva Segovia.
With the objective to continue with its mission, ANF developed this project to promote agricultural production and fulfill the needs for food of 32,000 vulnerable children and 8,000 adults in schools, orphanages, feeding centers, asylums, and children development centers across Nicaragua.
ANF will purchase at a fair price a total of 960,000 pounds of beans per year, becoming the largest buyer of the project’s production. In an effort to encourage social responsibility, each beneficiary will be required to donate 100 pounds of their production per agricultural cycle to ANF’s feeding programs.
The bio-fortified beans obtained through “Seeds for Smiles” along with other donations received by ANF such as lentils, MannaPack, and rice will go to complement the nutritional needs of the populations at risk, contribute to the improvement of their health and increase school retention rates. The project will also include in its later phases, the production of rice in alliance with other organizations.
“Seeds for Smiles” will contribute to increase the income of small-scale farmers in rural communities, improve the lives of their families, feed thousands of children and adults in high-risk situations, and bring smiles to many more.