“One of the president’s first mandates in relation to the Agriculture Secretariat is precisely, national food security” – Laura Suazo, Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock, Honduras.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Stockbreeding (SAG) of Honduras is making innovative advancements towards its Agriculture and Stockbreeding sector. The Ministry is working to address the challenges of food security, production and productivity. Several projects are underway to improve the quality of life in Honduras.
The NAMA project is dedicated to improving the livestock sector through reductions of greenhouse emissions and changes in the livestock sector toward a low carbon economy. The ministry partners with Taiwan on the Production of Avocado Seedlings and the Breeding and Reproduction of Pigs projects. Through the Agrifood Sector and Rural Development of Honduras 2022-2032 Policy Plan the Honduras aims to improve food quality, availability and food access, nationwide.
On April 21, 2022, the first face-to-face session of the year took place in Tegucigalpa to strengthen the National Platform for Sustainable Livestock of Honduras,(PNGSH). Twenty-two institutions collaborate in this platform, including, the public sector (6), the private union sector (4), the industrial and commercial private sector (3), the scientific research and technology transfer (academy) (4) and external cooperations ( 5). The intention is to promote coordination, analysis, management, and alternative solutions to the challenges facing the cattle livestock sector.
Approximately, 96,000 cattle farms in Honduras contribute greenhouse emissions to the environment; the cattle farms account for 30% of the country’s emission all together. NAMA intends to design policies that promote sustainable livestock at the national level and reduce the harmful emissions produced in this sector. Farmers in Honduras rely on traditional farming, which contributes enteric fermentation. Animals produce methane, a greenhouse gas, and also contribute to deforestation. Through PNGSH, the Support Project for National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) aims to transform the Honduran livestock sector into a sustainable, low carbon economy.
The NAMA Project is administered by SAG and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MiAmbiente) with the technical support of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) as well as the participation of national institutions. This project is a 5-year program financed by the NAMA FACILITY. The collaborative effort is focused on developing, implementing and improving farming practices affecting animal health and husbandry, reproductive efficiency and the reproductive life cycle of animals. NAMA is also looking to improve feeding and nutrition and management practices for the rangeland, which means improving grass species, mixed forage and feed processing.
The program will refine animal genetic resources and breeding by improving traits in weight gain, milk production, and fertility which are key to increasing productivity. Betterments in these areas are estimated to reduce emissions by 20 to 30 percent. These measures will also benefit farmers’ ability to increase livestock productivity, improve rural livelihoods, food security and increase resiliency amidst climate change.
Agrifood and Rural Environment
On April 25, 2022, the minister of SAG, Laura Suazo, acting on behalf of President Xiomara Castro, launched the State Policy project for the Agrifood Sector and Rural Development of Honduras 2022-2032. The purpose of this policy is to improve the availability of food in the country by strengthening production and productivity.
La titular de la Secretaría de Agricultura y Ganadería, #SAG, @LauraSuazoT, en representación de la Presidente @XiomaraCastroZ, lanza la elaboración de lo que será la Política para el Sector Agroalimentario y el Desarrollo Rural Sostenible de Honduras 2022-2032 pic.twitter.com/ndqW66PFWw
— SAG Honduras (@saghonduras) April 25, 2022
Along with price stability, which ensures greater purchasing power for families as well as adequate food and nutrition, the policy stimulates and facilitates food production and development of rural areas in Honduras. The goal is to meet the food needs of the population.
This policy focuses on rural men, women and youth producers as well as ethnic and Afro-descendant populations. It promotes actions to reduce poverty and improve Honduras’ living conditions through inclusive agri-food systems, plans to reduce poverty rates and the growth of equal opportunities and territorial development.
An international partnership between Honduras and Taiwan has been in continuance for 80 years. As of recently, both countries have been working together on various projects such as the Production of Avocado Seedlings and the Breeding and Reproduction of Pigs projects in Comayagua. These projects are financed by the technical cooperation of the Government of the Republic from China (Taiwan). A meeting was held in regards to these projects, and was attended by Honduras’ minister of SAG, Laura Suazo, the sub-secretary of Livestock, Ángel Acosta, the Director of Agricultural Science and Technology (DICTA), Nehemías Martínez, along with Marcos Zelaya and Arturo Galo, ministerial advisers.
From Taiwan, the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Diego Wen; the Director of the Taiwan Technical Mission, Tony Hou, the person in charge of the Pig Project, Shyh-Shiun Lin; and the manager of the Avocado Project, Reagan Chou were all in attendance. Also present were, Gustavo Huang, the person in charge of the Avocado Nursery in Comayagua, Diego Tseng and the manager of the Avocado Nursery in Ocotepete, Lucas Chiu. Together, they worked with the SAG team and the Technical Mission of Taiwan to address the expansion of the period of the Breeding and Pigs Project located at the “Playitas” Experimental Station in Comayagua. They also strategized plans to improve the implementation of the National Avocado Plan project which is for the benefit of small producers.
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The Project for the Expansion of Production of Avocado Seedlings in Honduras, (PARPAH) has a period of execution from March 2019 to December 31, 2022. The objective of this project is to boost the development of the national avocado industry with the goal being to cultivate at least four thousand hectares of avocados nationwide. Therefore SAG and DICT intend to integrate resources of the public and private sectors and select 14 nurseries for the production of avocado seedlings. Three of these nurseries will be located in experimental stations in Comayagua, Intibucá and Ocotepeque to replicate the experience of the Healthy Avocado Seedling Production Project and stabilize production of 105,000 avocado seedlings. Meanwhile, the remaining eleven nurseries will focus on improving the production capacity of avocado seedlings.
The Project for the Breeding and Reproduction of Pigs was implemented in October of 2018 with an end date of December 2022. The objective of this project is to reduce the proportion of pork imports and promote domestic production of quality meat in Honduras. The hope for this project is to resolve the problem of deteriorating quality of pig breeding stock available in the Porcine Reproduction Center of Comayagua (CRPC). The project intends to improve the reproductive performance of the breeding stock as well as the administrative efficiency of the program.
The plan is to stabilize the supply of high-quality breeding stock of pig farmers which will help establish the foundations to expand the production of pork. The project will establish pig breeding stock with good genetics and purebred quality; optimize the pig management model and its environmental conditions; and strengthen the capacity to manage and maintain the pig breeding stock. In the department of Comayagua the Swine Genetics Center is located at the “Playitas” Experimental Station; a pig center that is considered the largest and most technological in Central America, with a capacity of 200 reproductive females and a production of 4,000 piglets per year.
The Minister of Agriculture and Stockbreeding, Laura Suazo, commented on the aims of this project, “its contribution to the increase in production in the pork and avocado sectors, are important for the food security of the country.”
The Ministry of Agriculture and Stockbreeding
The Ministry of Agriculture and Stockbreeding has made great effort to improve their sector to provide a better quality of life for its people. SAG and Fundación Capital signed a memorandum of understanding for joint work to promote the financial, economic, productive and social inclusion of low-income families dedicated to agriculture in Honduras. The long-awaited irrigation project in the Jamastrán Valley, which will benefit some 1,500 families, is underway.
Through its programs and projects, SAG provides technical support in marketing processes and equipment to cashew producers among whom there is an active participation of women and youth. Through Ministerial Agreement 397-2000 Honduras seeks to protect fishing resources through measures that prohibit the capture of species, prevent the depredation of natural resources and allow their reproduction and subsistence. SAG will include Lenca women producers in the Rural Agriculture project. The Minister of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), Laura Suazo, visited the Lenca community in the municipality of Azacualpa, department of Intibuca to discuss this project. Suazo also received a visit from the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan ) Diego Wen, and met with representatives of potato producers in the country and the national bank.
Regarding the commitment of the SAG, to support rural women as the female prime minister, out of a total of 27 professionals who have held that honorable position, the official expressed, “I am going to focus completely on the peasant woman, on the agricultural woman, on the farmer, who produces for Honduras, and who is part of family farming, peasant agriculture and who contributes to eradicating hunger,” assured The head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, (SAG), Laura Suazo.
My name is Natalia García and I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, I am the proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. As of currently I am an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), majoring in Spanish, Community and Cultures and minoring in Chicana/Chicano studies. I am very passionate about all things Latin America from politics to history and so much more and now being a part of Latina Republic I hope that I can further aid in changing the negative stereotypes and shedding light to the beautiful side of what is Latin America as it is not talked about as much as it should be.