Agriculture is an integral part of the Honduran economy. It is also an important sector for reducing GHG emissions, as articulated in Honduras’s INDC. Recently, extreme weather events have negatively impacted agricultural production in Honduras, and climate change impacts over the longer term are expected to exacerbate these issues. Within this context, the Government of Honduras collaborated with USAID and other partners to implement smallholder farmer agricultural activities to simultaneously reduce GHG emissions, address climate vulnerability, and support economic development. Activities included expansion of perennial coffee crops, improvements in soil management, use of fodder trees to improve livestock feed, drip irrigation techniques to support water management, efficient fertilizer use, and grassland improvement through fodder tree fencing and other approaches. These activities resulted in reduced GHG emissions, enhanced carbon sequestration, and improved crop yields, and they supported nutrition and income generation for small farmer households. Several good practices associated with this work, and detailed in the case study, are outlined below.
- Partnership with local farmers was critical for successful project implementation.
- Designing smallholder farmer agricultural projects required that projects be tailored to unique local circumstances and needs and aligned with local development goals. Such actions included perennial crop expansion, feed quality and grassland improvements, and soil, waste, and fertilizer management improvements.
- Training and technical assistance was important for building local capacity to support ongoing agricultural improvements, improved natural resource management, and market opportunities associated with agriculture.
- Tools such as the Ex-Ante Carbon Balance Tool (EX-ACT)—from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations—supportedestimation of the GHG emission and carbon sequestration impacts of agricultural projects. EX-ACT employs a rapid assessment approach and aggregated data to analyze GHG emission impacts, which was important for Honduras owing to the country’s data limitations. As data are collected at the field level over time, more detailed analyses can ve pursued.
- Assessing the co-benefits of improved agricultural practices was critical to ensuring positive climate and development outcomes, especially those related to food security.