Soil Recuperation in Central America: Sustaining innovation after intervention
Much has been said and written about the sustainability of agricultural development. Nevertheless, few indeed are the published studies that give evidence of programme impact years after the outside intervention ended. To help fill this void, this paper describes a study of three agricultural development efforts in Guatemala and Honduras and assesses impacts up to 15 years after the termination of outside intervention1. The study was carried out by the Honduran organisation COSECHA (The Association of Advisors for a Sustainable, Ecological, and People-Centered Agriculture). The study assessed the impact these interventions have had over the years. The results, which show considerable increases in productivity, indicate that while specific technologies do not generally have long-term sustainability, the process of agricultural innovation does. The study points to a need for future agricultural development programmes to design their
work in such a way that villagers are given strong motivation to innovate.