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Building a better future for small farmers in the Gulf of Fonseca in Honduras

Jul 24, 2014

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, recently approved a technical cooperation grant of $6,608,000 that will increase the income of 6,500 small holder farmers and benefit 13,000 families living in the Gulf of Fonseca Region in Honduras. The project, to be executed by Swisscontact, will promote a public-private regional economic development model that will improve the incomes of small producers in the region’s leading economic sectors – shrimp, melons, cashews, sugar, and beans-- by giving them full access to markets, skills and financing.

Rural areas in Honduras account for two-thirds of households below the national poverty line. The Gulf of Fonseca region is one of the poorest areas of Honduras and has the country’s widest socioeconomic inequality. Small producers have shortcomings in their business and financial capacities that prevent them from tapping opportunities offered by growing international demand. In addition, public and private institutions that promote the business development of small producers work without sufficient coordination and have been unable to develop an effective market for business consulting services.

 

The project will focus on strengthening linkages and business capacity for small producers, and facilitating their access to critical business services such as product handling, product quality standardization, inventory management, use of technology, and business organization.

 

Moreover, the project will seek to expand access to financial services for small producers in the region, generating products adapted to the specific needs of small suppliers. This will be accomplished with the assistance of the Partnership Trust Fund for Poverty Reduction in Latin America and the Chorotega Cooperative, which is currently executing a MIF project.

 

In the long term it is expected that this Regional Economic Development model in the Gulf of Fonseca region will be scaled up by the Government of Honduras and other institutional actors through national competitive development policies, and that the project will help to establish new policies, regulations, and legal frameworks for promoting national competitiveness.

 

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small, and medium business models. More information can be found at www.fomin.org

 

About SDC

 

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). Operating with other federal offices, SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as for humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation. Learn more.

 

About Swiscontact

 

Swisscontact is a business-oriented nonprofit Swiss foundation interested in development cooperation and founded in 1961. The foundation is active in 27 countries and has about 750 collaborators. In Central America it works with financing from the SDC in the areas of promoting SMEs and vocational training. Swisscontact works with institutional partners such as the World Bank, USAID, the European Union, and large corporations. Learn 

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