Santa Rita Climate-Smart Village, Copán (Honduras)

Also available in Español

Context

The climate smart village of Santa Rita is located in the Copan Department, in western Honduras. The department’s Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.632, placing it at national level on the 14th spot out of 18 departments (PNUD 2012).

In 2016, Santa Rita had an estimated population of 30,682, of which 50.3% were men and 49.3% men; 14.8% of them live in urban areas and 85.2% in rural ones, which makes livelihoods connected mainly to agriculture and animal rearing. Population density is 105.8 inhabitants/km2.

Location

Topography and climate

Santa Rita is located above 550 m asl in its central and northeastern part, especially in the Rio Amarrillo area and its territory reaches 1881 m asl in its southeastern part.  In Santa Rita, one can distinguish:

  • the lower altitude zone, with a moderate slope (altitude below 1000 m asl, slope between 4 and 25%)
  • a higher altitude zone (altitude above 1000 m asl, slope over 25%)
  • a zone with an abrupt slope and high water recharge (altitude above 1000 m asl, slope above 25%, high water infiltration capacity)

Santa Rita has a cool climate, with temperatures between 20.5 and 25.7 C, with an annual average of 23.6 C. The coolest months are December, January and the hottest are April, May and June.

Baseline studies

Interesting data has been obtained through baseline reports done by CCAFS and its partners in the field. Three reports are available:

Education

In 66.4% of interviewed households, the highest education level attained by one family member is primary school. In 20% of households, at least one family member did not have any formal education. The rest of 13.6% have family members with various levels of education (12.9% secondary school and 0.7%  higher education).

Average farm size

About 43% of farms have less than 1 ha, 48% of farms measure between 1 and 5 ha and 9% of households have more than 5 ha of land.

Food security and diversification

About 82% of households declared that they don’t have food security issues, while 2% mentioned that they have trouble finding food for more than six months per year. Approximately 50% of the farms in the climate smart village gas an intermediate level of productive diversification; but 66% of them sell between one and two products.

Key data

Economy

Coffee, livestock and basic grains are the main economic engines in the CSV (74%), followed by trade and mechanic workshops (22.5%) with the remaining 3.5% represented by construction.

Land use

Santa Rita extends over 29.170 ha, used as follows (source: ICF 2014):

Progress until 2016

  • during the first phase of CCAFS baseline reports at household, community and institutional level were completed.
  • vulnerability analysis done at municipal level, in Santa Rita, by implementing the local sustainable development strategy for climate change (ELDECC – Spanish acronym)
  • completion of a portfolio of CSA practices using the methodology prioritizing climate smart agriculture
  • implementation of CSA practices using farmers’ schools with various themes
  • strengthening of farmers’ schools by adapting the PICSA tool to the local context
  • training for key institutions in using software and tools specialized in generating weather predictions.

Pending activities

  • Implementing the PICSA methodology to improve decision making processes for farmers in the CSV.
  • Strengthening farmers' schools by adapting the PICSA tool to the local context.
  • Training key institutions' staff to use software and specialised routines to generate climate predictions.

Partners

The Tropical Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), MANCORSARIC, Plan Trifinio Executive Secretariat, CIAT, Bioversity, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) de la Universidad de Columbia.