In 2020, the eco.business Development Facility worked with a Nicaraguan initiative, “Zero-Deforestation Cattle Ranching” or “Crecimiento Ganadero con Cero Deforestación” in Spanish. The initiative was originally created by various Nicaraguan cattle associations along with other non-governmental institutions to promote sustainable cattle farming that does not engage in deforestation.
Specifically, the Development Facility successfully supported the Initiative trough training sessions, in which 177 producers from 16 cattle associations learned how to use satellite imagery data to protect forest within their farms, monitor potential fires and implement sustainable practices. In addition, the project identified opportunities for diversification of farms, especially for cocoa and timber, including an analysis of the legal framework and market opportunities as well as capacity-building. Finally, the competition “My Sustainable Farm” was completed, in which the three best proposals were financially supported to implement their project.
The three cattle producers supported through the contest will become ambassadors to promote the implementation of sustainable practices among cattle producers. Their farms will be visited regularly as demonstrative farms. Moreover, the overall project incentivized discussions in an annual meeting that led to the upcoming creation of the Nicaraguan Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
For this project, the Development Facility worked closely with FUNIDES, the Nicaraguan Foundation for Rural Economic and Social Development, and Banco Lafise, both of which play a leading role in the advancement of the initiative. As such, this was the first project that works with the partner institution and its clients, and the sector at large in the same space.