Despite having the world’s most fertile volcanic soil, generating a profit from small-scale farming can be nearly impossible in rural Nicaragua. The 1 Manzana Project was created to change that. By investing in irrigation systems, technology to manage the farms, providing assistance for technical and financial management, and capital in the form of a 5-year line of credit for beneficiary farmers, we are working to help increase the profits that a farmer’s own manzana of land (around 2 acres) so that each farmer can become debt free and provide full-time employment for others.
Despite having the world’s most fertile volcanic soil, generating a profit from small-scale farming can be nearly impossible in rural Nicaragua. Most rural farmers must take out high interest loans to invest in their farms. Without irrigation systems, farmers must rely on only a few months of rain in the year. If there is a drought, farmers fall deeper into debt. The cycle of poverty and hunger continues.
The purpose of the 1 Manzana Project is to create small organic farms that produce a $3000 profit a year by the 6th year and allow the owner to become debt free in that same time period. By year 10, the farm will produce $6,000/year in profit. This is a 10 times greater profit than what a farmer can make by producing corn or any other traditional crop.
The 1 Manzana Project is a way to partner with rural farmers in the communities we serve by investing in irrigation systems, technology to manage the farms, Amigos Community Advocates to provide technical and financial management assistance, and capital in the form of a 5-year line of credit for beneficiary farmers. In addition to benefiting Nicaraguan farmers who already own their land, the project is generating significant full-time employment. With a predicted 104 manzanas (182 acres) in production by the end of 2022, 156 jobs will have been created through the project.
You might remember learning that manzana means “apple.” That is true, however in Nicaragua, a manzana is also a plot of land. One manzana is just about the size of two acres. The rural farmers participating in the 1 Manzana Project typically own several manzanas of land that have been passed down through generations.
An investment in this project will bring about long-term transformation for a rural farming family. These are a few cost estimates for what it takes to get a farmer set up for year 1: