Fruitful Hope in the Dry Corridor
Alvaro José Chávez Cruz is very familiar with the tiring challenges of farming the land around his home in El Jabillo, Carazo, Nicaragua.
For many years, he has spent hours in the fields, often with the sun beating down and the air thick with heat. His body has felt the aches that can come with the repetitive actions of digging, preparing, planting, and watering.
Alvaro also knows the pain of crushing disappointment when crops fail despite all of his best efforts. His family is counting on his income.
In Alvaro’s community—like other areas that comprise Central America’s Dry Corridor —farming livelihoods are severely impacted by changes in climate. Farmers are enduring long droughts, reduced rainfall, and unpredictable rainfall seasons—and struggling with low crop yields.
When farmers cannot meet their daily needs, the threat of malnutrition is very real, especially for children and those already vulnerable due to health conditions. Some farming families have left their home in search of a better life, but they face uncertain futures elsewhere.
To equip Alvaro and his fellow farmers to increase their yields, World Renew works with a local partner to promote food security, community health, access to clean water, and sustainable ways of adapting their farming practices to increase their chance of success in a changing climate.
World Renew also helps run farmer schools, and Alvaro is one of the members. When he joined the school, he started with a small vegetable garden with six raised beds, applying deep-digging methods and using animal compost.
Although these new gardens were working quite well, they still required a lot of work. After Alvaro attended a farming workshop on compost-filled holes, he wondered if some of the same methods could improve his garden even more.
Thanks to the skills and support Alvaro received through World Renew, he felt confident enough to do even more than merely wonder: he actively applied what he had learned.
Instead of digging everywhere, he tried out only digging a hole for each plant, just like he had seen in the workshop. The results were much better!
“I really saw a big change, in the amount of work required, the amount of compost required, and the great results,” Alvaro said.
Keeping up his garden still requires a lot, including walking to the river for water. But even with these steps, the whole process is much more streamlined than before. With his new irrigation system, he finds it much easier to turn the tap on to water the plants every morning and every night.
Best of all, Alvaro’s adapted farming methods have led to him having more food to eat as well as sell for a profit.
“You can see the results, we’ve got lots of green peppers, we’ve got big tomatoes,” he said. “We all thought it was too dry to grow vegetables like this here, and we were right. What we hadn’t imagined was small-scale irrigation.
Alvaro’s farming life still has tiring and challenging moments. Thanks to help from World Renew, however, he is also experiencing the fresh hope of farming successes beyond what seemed possible.
His courage to adapt has given him, his family, and his entire community and fruitful hope of improved food security.
You can give the same hope to other farmers and families around the world with the gift of Farmer Field School training or Kitchen Garden Kits. Farmers will receive seeds and training to start growing more food for the future