Nicaragua

Moving Towards Inclusive Prosperity in Nicaragua's Agri-Food and Export Sectors (Technolinks+)

2016 - 2023

MEDA, the Institute of Agricultural Technology, and the Ministry of Local Economy are collaborating through Technolinks+ project to accelerate Nicaraguan small farmers’ and agri-food processors’ adoption of productive technologies. Through this project, MEDA can increase the harvest, improve produce quality and grow overall farm profitability, at the enterprise and export supply chain levels.

Overview

Name

Our Technolinks+ project is working to provide small-scale farmers, agribusinesses, and cooperatives with increased access to technologies. The project provides these farmers and businesses with an electronic voucher and grants mechanism to develop their businesses and improve their use of technology. 

Goal

The goal of the Technolinks+ project is to accelerate Nicaraguan small farmers’ and agri-food processors’ use of more productive technologies. The project will improve the entrepreneurial capacity of producers, agribusinesses and cooperatives through better access to innovative, environmentally sustainable technologies, using incentives, investments, and market linkages.

Scope

The project is working to support 35,000 women and men smallholder farmers, 85 agribusinesses and cooperatives, and public institutions at all levels of the supply chain.

Context

Nicaragua is a lower income Latin American country that is heavily dependent on its agricultural sector, comprising 19% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Nicaragua, more than 55% of people in poverty live in rural areas. 

Low farm and enterprise productivity is partly because few Nicaraguan small-scale farmers have access to and adequately use basic technologies, such as higher quality seeds and irrigation. Technology finance for farmers and enterprises is also in short supply. Equipment distributors and agri-food processors with growth potential find it difficult to access the capital, technical and mentoring assistance they need to become vibrant and competitive. 

Opportunity

 Nicaragua needs to spur export growth, and sustainably expand livelihood opportunities for small-scale farmers, especially women producers. The low levels of agricultural exports when compared to its Central American neighbors indicates a substantial low yield, as well as an investment opportunity for its development.

Strategy

The Technolinks+ project is enhancing the entrepreneurial and business capacities of farmers, processors and distributors by providing them with better access to innovative, environmentally-sustainable technologies, matching grants and links to markets.

The project is working to raise awareness of the need for the creation and access of productive agriculture and food processing technologies at all levels of the supply chain. Key activities include:

  1. Increasing the agricultural productivity, profitability, and adoption of technologies by women and men farmers
  2. Increasing the agricultural output, profitability, and use of agriculture and food processing technologies by distributors and food processors
  3. Promoting agriculture and food processing technologies effectively by public and private partner institutions
  4. Providing participating businesses with customized business development services to improve productivity, build market linkages, and stimulate business growth.
  5. Establishing coordination mechanisms with government entities to promote the adoption of new technologies and environmentally-friendly production methods to create sustainability.
 

The project aims to achieve sustainable results by partnering with like-minded stakeholders and technical capacity-strengthening investments aimed at supporting local stakeholders to use project methods.

Technolinks+ uses smart incentives to encourage smallholder farmers and enterprise clients to increase their investments in technologies. These incentives include electronic vouchers to target smallholder farmers and matching grants for distributors and processors. Technolinks+ also partners with financial institutions to develop financing mechanisms for farmers. 

Funder

This program was undertaken with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada.

Partners