ACCESO in Honduras: Perennial crop expansion, soil management, and livestock improvementsLatin America


Smallholder coffee farmers and subsistence farmers in Honduras are vulnerable to climate variability and climate change (Holland et al. 2017)/taxonomy/term/7931. Climate change is anticipated to increase temperatures and decrease precipitation in Honduras, which will impact subsistence farmers who depend on rain-fed agriculture and who have limited possibilities of diversifying their income base (Holland et al. 2017)/taxonomy/term/7931. Also, coffee is sensitive to impacts related to climate change (Baca et al. 2016, Holland et al. 2017)/taxonomy/term/7942 /taxonomy/term/7931. The ACCESO initiative aimed to increase nutrition and incomes of smallholder farmer households in western Honduras with funding from USAID Feed the Future. ACCESO promoted improvements in agricultural practices that improved livelihoods and impact GHG emissions and carbon sequestration such as perennial crop expansion, soil management, water management, feed quality, fertilizer management and grassland management.

Relationship with CSA

Introducing high quality coffee seedlings to replace rust-affected plants and preventing conversion of degraded coffee tree areas to cropland increased farmers’ incomes and resilience, while also sequestering carbon sequestration. Other climate-smart practices adopted by farmers, such as cut-and carry forage systems in grasslands, live fencing with fodder trees, and perennial crop expansion also resulted in carbon sequestration. Practices that improved feed quality and water management improved farmers’ resilience while also reducing GHG emissions.

Impact and lessons learned

Emission intensity decreased for carrots, maize, cabbage and potatoes while it increased for plantains and coffee production due to fertilizer use. ACCESO’s interventions also decreased postharvest losses in maize and plantains. Yields increased in all value chains (maize, coffee, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and dairy cattle). Maize had the highest increase in yield as a result of ACCESO’s improvements (259% yield increase). 

Link to info note


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    Holland MB, Shamer SZ, Imbach P, Zamora JC, Moreno CM, Hidalgo EJL, Donatti C, Martinez-Rodriguez RM, Harvey CA. 2017. Mapping adaptive capacity and smallholder agriculture: applying expert knowledge at the landscape scale. Climatic Change 141(1):139-153. The impacts of climate change exacerbate the myriad challenges faced by smallholder farmers in the Tropics. In many of these same regions, there is a lack of current, consistent, and spatially-explicit data, which severely limits the ability to locate smallholder communities, map their adaptive capacity, and target adaptation measures to these communities. To explore the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers in three data-poor countries in Central America, we leveraged expert input through in-depth mapping interviews to locate agricultural landscapes, identify smallholder farming systems within them, and characterize different components of farmer adaptive capacity. We also used this input to generate an index of adaptive capacity that allows for comparison across countries and farming systems. Here, we present an overview of the expert method used, followed by an examination of our results, including the intercountry variation in expert knowledge and the characterization of adaptive capacity for both subsistence and smallholder coffee farmers. While this approach does not replace the need to collect regular and consistent data on farming systems (e.g. agricultural census), our study demonstrates a rapid assessment approach for using expert input to fill key data gaps, enable trans-boundary comparisons, and to facilitate the identification of the most vulnerable smallholder communities for adaptation planning in data-poor environments that are typical of tropical regions. One potential benefit from incorporating this approach is that it facilitates the systematic consideration of field-based and regional experience into assessments of adaptive capacity, contributing to the relevance and utility of adaptation plans.
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    Baca M, Läderach P, Haggar J, Schroth G, Ovalle O. 2014. An Integrated Framework for Assessing Vulnerability to Climate Change and Developing Adaptation Strategies for Coffee Growing Families in Mesoamerica. PLOS ONE 9(2):e88463. The Mesoamerican region is considered to be one of the areas in the world most vulnerable to climate change. We developed a framework for quantifying the vulnerability of the livelihoods of coffee growers in Mesoamerica at regional and local levels and identify adaptation strategies. Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concepts, vulnerability was defined as the combination of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. To quantify exposure, changes in the climatic suitability for coffee and other crops were predicted through niche modelling based on historical climate data and locations of coffee growing areas from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Future climate projections were generated from 19 Global Circulation Models. Focus groups were used to identify nine indicators of sensitivity and eleven indicators of adaptive capacity, which were evaluated through semi-structured interviews with 558 coffee producers. Exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity were then condensed into an index of vulnerability, and adaptation strategies were identified in participatory workshops. Models predict that all target countries will experience a decrease in climatic suitability for growing Arabica coffee, with highest suitability loss for El Salvador and lowest loss for Mexico. High vulnerability resulted from loss in climatic suitability for coffee production and high sensitivity through variability of yields and out-migration of the work force. This was combined with low adaptation capacity as evidenced by poor post harvest infrastructure and in some cases poor access to credit and low levels of social organization. Nevertheless, the specific contributors to vulnerability varied strongly among countries, municipalities and families making general trends difficult to identify. Flexible strategies for adaption are therefore needed. Families need the support of government and institutions specialized in impacts of climate change and strengthening of farmer organizations to enable the adjustment of adaptation strategies to local needs and conditions.

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CCAFS Climate-Smart Agriculture 101

The basics

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach to address these interlinked challenges of food security and climate change, that explicitly aims for three objectives:

A. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development;

B. Adapting and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and

C. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fisheries).

Entry points

Agriculture affects and is affected by climate change in a wide range of ways and there are numerous entry points for initiating CSA programmes or enhancing existing activities. Productivity, mitigation and adaptation actions can take place at different technological, organizational, institutional and political levels. To help you navigate these myriad entry points we have grouped them under three Thematic Areas: (i) CSA practices, (ii) CSA systems approaches, and (iii) Enabling environments for CSA. Each entry point is then described and analysed in terms of productivity, adoption and mitigation potential and is illustrated with cases studies, references and internet links for further information.

Develop a CSA plan

Planning for, implementing and monitoring CSA projects and programmes evolves around issues of understanding the context including identification of major problems/barriers and opportunities related to the focus of the programme; developing and prioritizing solutions and designing plans; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation. Most major development agencies have their own framework for project and programme formulation and management but CCAFS has developed a specific approach for planning, implementing and assessing CSA projects and programme called CSA plan. CSA plan was developed to provide a guide for operationalizing CSA planning, implementation and monitoring at scale. CSA plan consist of four major components: (1) Situation analysis; (2) Targeting and prioritizing; (3) Program support; and (4) Monitoring. evaluation and learning.


To meet the objectives of CSA, such as agricultural development, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation, a number of potential funding sources are available. For instance, climate finance sources may be used to leverage agriculture finance and mainstream climate change into agricultural investments. This section offers an overview of potential sources of funding for activities in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) at national, regional and international levels and for a number of different potential ‘clients’ including governments, civil society, development organizations and others. Additionally, it includes options to search among a range of funding opportunities according to CSA focus area, sector and financing instrument.

Resource library

CSA Guide provides a short and concise introduction and overview of the multifaceted aspects of climate-smart agriculture. At the same time it offers links to references and key resources that allows for further investigations and understanding of specific topics of interest. In the resource library we have gathered all the references, key resources, terms and questions in one place for a quick overview and easy access that can be used as a part of or independently of the other sections of the website. The resource library is divided into six sections; (1) References – list all publications, links and blogs referred to on the website; (2) Tools – list all the CSA tools presented on the website; (3) Key terms – explains the most important and frequently used terms related to CSA; (4) Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – provides a rapid overview of the most common questions asked on climate-smart agriculture; (5) About – where you can find out more about the purpose and structure of, as well as on the organizations and authors behind the website; (6) Contact.

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