This landscape study provides an overview of Honduras’s agriculture and the status of the country’s extension system. It also contains information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition, and gender-related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. The report summarizes Honduras’s current agricultural and nutrition policy and details the strategic goals and objectives of USAID and other donors in the country. The report provides a summary of the on-going projects by the United States Government (USG) and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.
Poverty is the basic cause of undernutrition and undernutrition contributes to the vicious cycle of poverty. Honduras is a low middle-income country located in Central America facing major development challenges. According to the World Bank, more than 63 percent of the population lived in poverty in 2014. Poverty disproportionately affects the rural areas, where approximately six out of 10 households live in extreme poverty, or on less than US$2.50 per day.1 Moreover food security in Honduras is threatened by high probability of tropical storms and hurricanes, droughts, floods and landslides, deforestation, and frequent mild earthquakes.
The purpose of this activity was to analyze the ability of Farmer Field Schools (Escuelas de Campo) to integrate gender and nutrition into agricultural extension programs and assess the current status of the Agricultural Extension System (AES) in Honduras. This research directly contributes to the vision of the Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) initiative by informing project partners and local stakeholders on the potential of Escuelas de Campo as a platform for introducing gender and nutrition integration into agricultural extension programs.
In Honduras, women face high rates of discrimination and lack equal access to resources and services as compared to men. Gender inequality is intimately linked to nutrition, poverty, and agriculture, and all four issues often reinforce one another. For example, greater gaps in gender equality are associated with higher rates of malnutrition. When individuals have poor nutrition, their health and ability to work are affected, leading to lower incomes and reinforcement of poverty. These associations have serious implications on the local and national economy and human rights.