Territorial rural development policies: The Institute supported Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic in the implementation of actions aimed at inclusive and equitable rural development, the participatory management of territories, and the processes for the integration of programs in the rural territories of each country.

Political focus on family farming: Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Venezuela have made family farming (FF) a focus of public policies. In the Andean Region, FF was characterized by territories, to support the implementation of public intervention strategies on the subject.

Guatemala, and Colombia reached agreement on differentiated actions for FF after at least 100 senior officials, specialists, and other public and private stakeholders discussed the importance of FF and its public policies

30 specialists from Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Colombia, Uruguay, and Guatemala completed the Diploma Program on the Design of Public Policies for Agriculture, carried out in partnership with Mexico’s Center for Regional Cooperation on Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (CREFAL).

Synergies for inclusive rural development: The Strategic Management System for Area-based Development and Family Farming (SIGET), a platform generated by IICA, facilitated consensus among 60 participants from 15 Ibero-American countries in a forum on synergies between FF and inclusive rural development, mainly with respect to the connection between the strengthening of FF, the development of territories, and the processes of inclusion for historically excluded groups. Over 110 technical officers from Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela have enhanced their expertise on this topic and over 290 persons from 13 countries have shared their experiences through the inter-learning module.

Coordination and training for socioeconomic inclusion: In Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Brazil, IICA facilitated coordinated mechanisms for drafting plans to meet the strategic needs of territorial actors. In addition, in those same countries, as well as in Guyana, Suriname, and Ecuador, individuals from both the public and private sectors received training in inclusion policies, the construction of participatory management mechanisms in territories, and economic activation and social empowerment processes.

Economic activation of territories: Under the Central American Strategy for Rural Area-based Development (ECADERT), funded by Taiwan, producers in the territories of Jucuarán, San Dionisio, Concepción Batres, and Jiquilisco, in El Salvador, enhanced their technical skills and were given access to innovations and inputs that enabled them to improve their income and food security. In Belize, with IICA’s assistance, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development crafted proposals for the territorial economic activation of six Mayan communities.

21 excluded groups in territories of La Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, Mexico, with support from the government and civil society, is implementing ten projects designed to stimulate family farming and rural development.

Under the Nuevos Territorios de Paz program in Colombia, IICA prepared proposals for two projects aimed at reducing socioeconomic vulnerability and designing a territorial management model for priority areas, which will be funded by the EU (USD 370,000).

Agrotourism in indigenous communities: Under a project funded by UKAid through the CART Fund of the Caribbean Development Bank, tourism in Suriname increased by 400% in the territories of Powakka, Pierre Kondre, Redi Doti, and Cassipora. The project equipped these territories with tourism infrastructure (museums, community center, camping areas, berths for boats, and paths) and facilitated the training of 54 local actors in business matters, tours, and hospitality.

New system of indicators of territorial impact: The different investment projects designed under the Provincial Agricultural Services Program (PROSAP) have a collection of sociodemographic, geospatial, economic, and institutional information from Argentina at their disposal for defining the parameters of the model for monitoring and evaluating territorial impact.

AgroEnlace: Produce More, Sell Better: An Instructional Experience. Listen to audio (Spanish only):
An innovative initiative for fostering rural development throughout the value chain provided technical assistance to and organized training sessions for small-scale corn and bean farmers in Guatemala who successfully increased their productivity rate by 25%. Participants share their experiences.

AgroEnlace: Biodiversity and Local Development: An Achievable Link. Listen to audio (Spanish only):
The natural wealth of a protected area in Antioquia, Colombia, which is of vital importance to the city of Medellín, is threatened by the illegal extraction of forest resources. An innovative proposal puts forth a plan for reverting this situation, as described by Diana Amaya Pérez, Environmental and Cultural Deputy Director of Corporación Parque Arví; and Tania Ammour, Main Technical Advisor of the Sustainable Forestry Management Program in the Andean Region, an initiative developed by IICA with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

AgroEnlace: Central American Cultural Wealth. Garifuna Territory and Development. Listen to audio (Spanish only):
Get an insider's look into the cultural wealth of the Garifuna people, their work, dreams, and struggle to build a future without giving up their past, in order to achieve development while still honoring their values and principles.

In PanamA, the socio-productive conditions of women were improved. Thanks to PRIICA, an EU-funded program, 836 Panamanian producers were trained in the role played by women in food security and nutrition. Under ECADERT, a project was implemented to strengthen the Association of Women of the Palo Seco Community (district of Mariato), which benefited 25 families with training in vegetable production of community kitchen gardens, the construction of ecological stoves, solid waste management and disposal, production of handicraft goods, gender and entrepreneurism.

In Honduras, the Yeguaré Women’s Network was organized, and in Suriname, jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV), the Institute set up four cooperatives that benefited 84 women in Brokopondo, Marowijne and Sipaliwini.

IICA strengthened the management and associative capabilities of the national chapters of the Caribbean Network of Rural Women Producers (CANROP). The specific results were as follows: a) the Network of Women Producers in The Bahamas has a strategic plan and at least 100 women were trained in backyard farming, empowerment, food security, and sustainable development (together with the Women’s Office of the Ministry of Social Services); b) in Dominica, 25 women in the community of Delices received agricultural inputs and machinery following Tropical Storm Erika, thanks to humanitarian assistance from IICA staff; and c) Jamaica’s Network of Women Producers improved its finances and the ability to secure loans with auditing processes and training in good recordkeeping implemented with the Institute’s assistance.

In Antigua and Barbuda, IICA was instrumental in the Network of Rural Women Producers securing land for a commercial agro-processing plant and obtaining financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Caribbean Development Bank for renewing structures and training in business plans.

With support from the CTA, IICA enabled two networks of women producers in Guyana to enhance their information and communication technology skills, leading to the creation of a platform for disseminating information and sharing knowledge via the Web.

In Trinidad and Tobago, 65 women and young people learned how to add value to goats’ milk cheese and chocolate bars with cocoa nibs. They also have a better understanding of commercial terms, which will permit them to increase their families’ incomes.

Finally, IICA improved the quality of life of families in Lakatia, a community situated in Bolivia’s Altiplano region, by enhancing their skills for providing tourism services, promoting the inclusion of women in the delivery of such services, and implementing a community shelter that uses renewable energies.

AgroEnlace: Fish for Life: Impactful Innovation. Listen to audio (Spanish only):
The determination of fifteen female farmers made it possible to develop a fish farming project to improve the financial standing and food and nutritional security of hundreds of families in Bolivia. Sonia López, President of the Asociación de Piscicultores del Norte Integrado (APNI); Widen Abastoflor, Director General of the NGO Centro de Promoción Agropecuaria Campesina, (CEPAC); and Priscila Henríquez, IICA Specialist in Innovation Management in Agriculture, join us to discuss this topic.