Dec. 19, Kitchener, ON – Canada’s Minister of International Development, the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, revealed at a news conference that Global Affairs Canada (GAC) will invest CA$11.9 million in MEDA’s Opportunities for Circular and Inclusive Diversification in Agriculture (OCIDA) project in Honduras.
OCIDA is a six-year, $13 million project funded by GAC and MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) that is designed to enhance market systems for smallholder coffee and cacao farmers in Honduras’ Dry Corridor. MEDA will invest $1.46 million of its own from the MEDA Risk Capital Fund. The project addresses climate challenges in the area including unpredictable weather conditions such as droughts, limited access to modern farming equipment, and scarce financial and technical resources for small-scale farmers, particularly women and youth.
“MEDA’s OCIDA project represents a transformative model for agricultural development, integrating innovative financing with a strong commitment to gender equality and environmental sustainability OCIDA embodies Canada’s dedication to fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development.
To achieve these aims, OCIDA works across three main pillars: building increased climate resilience through circular agri-food technologies, enhancing the business performance of women- and youth-led producers via business development services and financial incentives, and fostering an enabling environment for sustainable growth.
“From economic contribution and food security to rural development, poverty alleviation, and empowering of women and youth, OCIDA’s focus on agriculture addresses critical challenges and contributes to sustainable development,” said Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, MEDA President and CEO. “By involving youth in agriculture, the program promotes environmental sustainability, diversification, innovation, and community stability. This approach recognizes the interconnectedness of these elements in fostering a stable and prosperous Honduras.”
The project intends to create or improve job opportunities for at least 5,250 women and youth and sustain a minimum of 1,750 existing jobs, with around 3,000 women and young producers gaining access to incentives and capital.
MEDA has been active in Central America since 1970, implementing successful programs and investments that have supported 364,438 producers working in agri-food systems across the region. OCIDA builds on this legacy, aiming to directly support 7,000 producers in Honduras.
“Mennonite Central Committee has been pleased to be closely associated with MEDA for all of its 70 years of seeking business solutions to poverty,” shared MCC Canada Executive Director, Rick Cober Bauman. “We applaud MEDA’s OCIDA efforts to respond to the range of realities in Honduras including climate change, empowerment of women and girls, as well as providing real economic options that can serve to reduce migration north. We share in MEDA’s gratitude for Global Affairs’ support for this vital work.”
Currently, MEDA’s initiatives in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Haiti target agri-food market systems development, financial services, women’s empowerment, and climate adaptation, targeting 50,000 clients and 15,000 decent jobs. MEDA’s involvement in coffee in Guatemala and Nicaragua, including significant achievements in Nicaragua, further highlights its impactful presence in the region.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Steve Williams | Communications Consultant, MEDA | Mobile: +1 416 655 8394 | Email: email@example.com
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. For 70 years, MEDA has worked with local partners in Latin America, Africa and Asia to support market-driven development and deploy impact investing.