Study Tour to Nicaragua: Sustainable Agriculture

A study tour to Nicaragua, focusing on sustainable agriculture and the Campesino Movement, has been organized by NICCA (Nicaragua Center for Community Action) of Berkeley, California, for March 25 – April 4, 2012.

Description: On this delegation, participants will meet with leaders of the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG) to discuss its national programs. Participants will visit a number of small communities and organic farms in the beautiful Matagalpa region, where NICCA’s partner, UNAG-Matagalpa, has been working for many years. Visits will include small, diversified farms and places where the Campesino a Campesino Program (PcaC) is just beginning; coffee farms and processing plants; and community-based sustainable tourism initiatives. You will also meet with the National Agriculture and Forestry Ministry (MAGFOR) to find out about Nicaragua’s Zero Hunger program, which has significantly reduced hunger since 2006. Throughout the trip, you will see and discuss sustainable agriculture techniques, local seed banks, environmental threats, and problems of agricultural commercialization. Community members will share meals and entertainment with the delegation.

For thirty years, the Campesino a Campesino (Farmer to Farmer) movement, now with several hundred thousand farmer-promoters, has helped farming families in the rural villages of Latin America improve their livelihoods and conserve their natural resources. Nicaraguan farmers are at the heart of this movement, which has contributed greatly to the global food sovereignty movement. Coordinated by NICCA (Nicaragua Center for Community Action) and co-sponsored with Food First, this delegation will allow you to forge solidarity with Nicaraguan farmers and learn from the experiences of the Campesino a Campesino Movement.

Since 1989 NICCA has enthusiastically supported the Campesino a Campesino Program (PCaC), a project of Nicaragua’s National Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG). PCaC is a comprehensive attempt to promote agricultural sustainability and enhance biodiversity by giving technical help to small farmers who learn and then teach others. The program has many emphases, including organic agriculture; soil conservation; crop diversification; the use of natural fertilizers and insecticides that can be produced at home; and the empowerment of women through kitchen gardens and animal husbandry. Most importantly, it is a program led by farmers, for farmers. In Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, PCaC has helped eliminate hunger in many rural communities where it once loomed over daily life.

[Many thanks to Rod Fusco for bringing this item to our attention.]

For application and more information, you may contact Suzanne or Diana at nicca@igc.org or by phone at (510) 654-8635.

You can also download the application at www.foodsovereigntytours.org

For more information about the UNAG programs see: www.unagmatagalpa.com

For original article, see http://www.nicanet.org/?p=1093

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