Meet the

farmers

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Smallholder farmers are at the heart and soul of our mission

What started out as a small group of renegade farmers in the northern highlands of Nicaragua has grown over the years into a movement that has spread across the country and inspired hundreds of farmers to adopt improved agroecological practices. We are proud to support our farmers on their journey to regenerative and in building sustainable livelihoods. 

We work with smallholder farmers in hard-to-serve communities across Nicaragua where the need is great. These communities are separated by long stretches of dirt roads from the nearest towns, often lacking basic access to public services and utilities. Our farming partners rely on agriculture as their primary income source. They work hard throughout the year to nurture their crops and earn enough to provide the basics for their families.

over

0%
of our farming partners are considered smallholders, producing on small patches
of land that average less than five hectares.

Stories from the campo

Marlene Gómez Guzmán

Marlene is a community promoter and lead farmer for our organic chia program. Together with her husband and two daughters she lives in the indigenous community of Las Manchones. She has farmed the land on the hillside above her family's home for many years, cultivating basic grains and coffee in addition to chia. 

Since she joined our program in 2017, Marlene has adopted agroecological farming practices and grown her chia organically. She now producers her own bio-fertilizers on the farm, reducing her production costs while achieving better yields. This has allowed Marlene to increase her seasonal income by over 35 percent. With the additional income, she purchased a cow which is now producing milk for her entire household.
Through the training I have received on organic agriculture and bio-fertilizer production, I was able to fully transition to agro-ecological farming practices . Biological inputs lowered my costs and my production has become more profitable and sustainable.

José Alberto Moreno

José Alberto lives in Las Pozas, a remote farming community in the northern highlands of Jinotega connected to the next larger village by only a small dirt road. He started learning about basic grains cultivation from his father when he was just 10 years old. These days, he grows a variety of crops including coffee, cacao and basic grains. Chia is one of the non-traditional crops he cultivates on his 1.4 hectare plot of land.

Since joining the Cosecha Partners organic chia program in 2017 José Alberto has managed to obtain good results. He now sells his chia production at a better price and has significantly increased his productivity, resulting in 60% higher earnings. José Alberto credits  the knowledge he gained from the chia program with improving his performance in others areas as well. 
My chia production increased by over 50 percent with the organic practices I learned from Cosecha Partner. Seeing this increase in chia, I started using the practices for other crops like cacao, cafe and maize and have seen an increase in my entire production. My maize production for example has increased by over 40 percent.

José Santiago Videa

Las Pozas is a very small village off the main road from the next bigger village Wiwili, which is a 2 hours drive. José Santiago has been a farmer for over 20 years and cultivates coffee and a variety of seeds and legumes on his six-hectare parcel in Las Pozas. He is married, the father of two boys and one girl, and is well known in the community as the local baseball team manager.

José supports his family with the income from the products he produces on his farm. igh production costs and low farmgate prices it made it very difficult to make ends meet. Needed investments in his farm to generate additional income were almost impossible. In 2017, Jose joined our organic chia program and comments the following:
With the additional income from my organic chia sales to Cosecha Partners, I was able to buy a coffee pulper which generates an extra income of $800 per year. I also purchased a mule to reach my farm faster and transport my harvest, which saves me around $500 per year in transport cost.

Aydaly Cruz Cruz

Aydaly lives in Wiwili, Jinotega. She is 37 years old, married and the mother of two boys and one girl. Aydali has been a farmer for over 17 years and mainly cultivates red beans.

In 2013, Aydaly made the decision to start growing chia. Although the prices were initially good, within just a few years the local market for chia bottomed out. Faced with high production costs that could not be recovered at harvest, she was forced to look for alternatives. Just before giving up on the crop, she decided to join our organic chia program and expressed the following:
I felt motivated to continue working with chia because of the support I received from Cosecha Partners. Using organic farming practices and replacing conventional fertilizers with biofertilizer saves me around $120 per hectare. I produce the biofertilizers myself and I feel safer for my health and the health of my family.
Since joining the chia program, Aydaly has managed to generate a seasonal income of over $1500 dollars from chia alone. She has reinvested about 60 percent of the income generated, making improvements to her home, expanding her small parcel, purchasing a cow and installing solar panels.

José Alberto Moreno

José Alberto lives in Wambala, a remote village in the Nicaraguan highlands connected to the next bigger village only by a small dirt road winding through the highlands. He started learning about cultivating basic grains when he was 10 years old. These days, he is cultivating a variety of crops like coffee, cacao, seeds and legumes. Chia is one of the crops he cultivated on his small piece of land of the size of 1.4 hectares.
Jose lives with his wife and the father of XXX. The income from his farming activities hardly covers his family's expenses and continuously paying for his children's education was not possible for a long time as his income depends on the fluctuating price and productivity of his crops.
In 2017, he joined Cosecha Partners organic chia program and he has managed to obtain excellent benefits by being able to sell his production at a better price and increase his productivity, and therefore improve the livelihoods of his family. Jose mentioned that he is using his knowledge not only for chia:
My chia production increased by over 50% with the organicpractices I learned from Cosecha Partner. Seeing this increase in chia, I started using the practices for my other crops like cacao, cafe and maize and I have seen an increase in my entire production. My maize production for example increased by over 40%.
Given the higher production and increased prices for organic chia, Jose is now able to pay continuously for the education of his children and made needed improvements to his family's home.

Santos Anselmo Fuentes

Santos Anselmo farms the gentle slopes of his small parcel in the community of El Barro, Wiwili. He follows in the footsteps of his father, who taught him how to work the land at an early age. A hardworking and ambitious young man, Santos Anselmo is also an avid baseball player and member of his local team. 

In 2017, Santos Anselmo joined the organic chia program along with his two brothers and has proceeded to transform the management of his family farm. As part of the program, Santos Anselmo received training on the production of bio-fertilizers and the management of his chia crop. In applying this knowledge to his fields, especially in the elaboration and application of bio-fertilizers to his chia crop, he has observed good results and increased production.

By integrating the organic production techniques he learned through the program with traditional practices, he has improved the fertility of his soils, expanded his areas of organic production and been successful in marketing his production at a better price.
The organic inputs I have learned to produce are inexpensive and also allow me not to contaminate my harvest or the environment.

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Cosecha Partners is a pioneering social business that catalyzes sustainable agriculture and market inclusion for smallholder farmers in poor and vulnerable communities.
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