Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Church of the Brethren is lead sponsor of farm program in Nicaragua.

The Church of the Brethren is to be the lead sponsor of the Rio Coco farm program in Nicaragua, through the Global Food Crisis Fund and its partnership with the Foods Resource Bank and Church World Service (CWS).

The denomination has had involvement in Nicaragua off and on over the last couple of decades. This newest project will allow the Brethren to work in concert with its partners in a new area and among the poorest of the poor.

The project will establish the Rio Coco Demonstration Farms in an area of Nicaragua that borders Honduras, with the help of a Global Food Crisis Fund grant of $35,000 for the first year of the program. The funding will come from the Global Food Crisis Fund ’s growing project accounts in the Foods Resource Bank.

The eight demonstration farms will heighten the food security and health of the populace, which is largely Meskito. Funding for one demonstration farm has been arranged by the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee; the Church of the Brethren will be the lead sponsor for three other demonstration centers.

Each of the demonstration farms will enlist 10 participating groups from surrounding communities. From each group, six workers will train at the demonstration centers, then return to their home communities to teach what they have learned to others. The demonstration center programs will deal with the production of grain, vegetables, trees, livestock, and vermiculture. Eventually, stores are to be opened at each center, operated by women from the participating communities.

Partnering with the Foods Resource Bank is Accion Medica Cristiana (AMC), which already has a central pharmacy in Waspan, the main municipality, and a hundred small "box" pharmacies in outlying villages. AMC has been aligned with Foods Resource Bank in the Farmer to Farmer program in Nicaragua.

--Howard Royer is manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund.

Source: 4/9/2008 Newsline

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