Tegucigalpa is leading the shift towards new food consumption
Tegucigalpa is leading the shift towards new food consumption
At a global level, our food systems are in crisis and the transformation towards more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive systems is urgent. Through the program “Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems” (SAS), Rikolto supports city-regions in the implementation of policies and practices that contribute to this transformation.
What do we mean when we say “sustainable food systems?" Following CIAT definition, they are systems where food products are culturally acceptable, economically fair, affordable, nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy, and in which a balance between the integrity of the agricultural ecosystem and social welfare is achieved.
“Rikolto works with a focus and a view to the sustainability of Tegucigalpa’s food supply, where diverse public-private sectors are enacting the construction of a sustainable urban food system that permits social inclusion and guarantees clean food to city-dwellers.”
Tegucigalpa urges for food system change
The Honduran capital urges for a shift towards a more sustainable and inclusive food system.
- 45% of the population lives in marginalized conditions; they obtain food from informal markets with little guarantee of cleanliness or quality, and at the same time produce an average of 878 tonnes of trash per day.
- There is no food policy that articulates the municipal programs or projects to improve food supplies to the cities of the Central District. As such, efforts remain dispersed.
- Between 30% and 40% of the population of the largest cities of Honduras (Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula), get their food from supermarkets. Thus, the supermarket chains have forced the organizations of horticultural producers to get organized and search for more efficient and sustainable mechanisms to market their products and guarantee their quality.
- These producer organizations show technical, socio-organizational, and business weaknesses that affect their competitiveness and sustainability, preventing them from becoming commercially viable partners.
Cities are key actors in this change. In 2015, 137 mayors met in Milan to discuss the two defining emergencies of the third millennium: food security and sustainable development. At the end of the conference, they signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact who states their willingness to develop a sustainable, inclusive, secure, diverse food system. Tegucigalpa is one of first cities to sign the Pact.
How to achieve it?
In order to achieve this, Rikolto works to:
1 | Boost the development of inclusive business models between farmer organisations and the public and private sectors.
- Develop a program to strengthen business and organizational competency of 7 farmer organisations that form part of the Honduras Agricultural Consortium (800 producers) with a focus on increasing their competitiveness and encouraging a generational shift.
- Provide funds and expertise for the development of 2 green markets and urban fairs in the Central District of Tegucigalpa.
2 | Increase the production of safe food and the productivity levels among the farmers in the productive zones surrounding the Central District.
- Develop a program of Agricultural Best Practices (BPA) and Integrated Pest Management (MIP) designed for producer organizations to encourage the production of safe food.
- Co-finance and advise the development of two technical innovation showcases (protected agriculture, hydroponics and fertigation efficiency) with the Consortium.
3 | Strengthen the short-chain between producers and consumers, through the establishment or augmentation of market fairs and the direct supply to infant care centres and schools in the Central District.
4 | Develop and implement a sustainable food and nutrition policy at the municipal level that guarantees an inclusive and sustainable food system.
- Facilitate the construction of a municipal platform to create a sustainable food policy.
- Facilitate the exchange of experiences between the municipalities supported by Rikolto.
A three-tier approach
Rikolto implements the project interventions by adopting a three-teer approach.
Level 1 | Piloting with cities. Together with our partners, we develop and disseminate innovative and scalable practices at city-region level that contribute to sustainable, fair and healthy food systems.
Level 2 | Learning cycle. We facilitate the sharing of experience and peer-to-peer learning among cities in close collaboration with strategic allies such as the City Food Network, UNEP and RIMISP.
Level 3 | Influencing the international agenda. We share the evidence we gather from the field to advance the political agenda in favour of sustainable food systems and inclusive rural-urban food chains. We particularly aim to contribute to discussions on the Milan Plan for Action, the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The area of intevention
Want to learn more about how Rikolto supports cities in their Food Smart City journey?
Rikolto supports cities in developing sustainable, inclusive, resilient and safe food systems in 6 different countries. The evidence generated from pilot activities with the cities is documented and turned into knowledge which is then mobilised to foster peer-to-peer learning and contribute to international discussions on sustainable urban food systems.
- Direct beneficiaries: 2702 reached in 2018. In 2019 we hope to reach 3010 beneficiaries.
- Increase in incomes for our direct farmer partners: 59% (2014-2017)
- Consumers that will be provided with cleaner, higher quality food: 60,000 consumers (5% of consumers in Tegucigalpa)
- Safe and quality food products supplied to markets: 7985 metric tonnes of vegetables (2018)
- Duration of the project: 2017-2021
What will we eat tomorrow?
Food smart cities leading the transition to sustainable food
Between March and August 2019, three journalists from the magazine Eos Tracé visited partner cities of Rikolto's Food Smart Cities programme. During these visits, they interviewed more than 130 people and discovered initiatives that make safer, healthier and sustainable food more accessible to citizens. This book tells their stories from 9 cities in Vietnam, Belgium, Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
About 800 farmers, members of 8 farmers' organizations of the Honduran Agro-commercial Consortium have improved their revenues by 59% on average (2014-2017) thanks to the strengthening of their technical, organizational and business capacities.
"We used to face supply and quality issues. Today, thanks to the collaboration with the Consortium, we have reduced from 40 percent to 5 percent the rejection of our products and we are increasing our purchases from 60 to 90 percent".
To date, through Rikolto’s work with its partners and allies, we have achieved:
- The installation of 4 pilot systems of hydroponic in the farms of farmers members of the Consortium.
- The improvement of their negotiating position and the diversification of their products on offer, realized through knowledge exchange programs, trainings, and Field Schools, at both Central American and international levels.
- The increase of productivity and quality, achieving a 97% compliance rate with consumer standards.
- Through the increased offering of products (40 different crops), the Agriculture Consortium has contributed to a reduction of almost 86.5% of vegetable imports to the supermarket (2011-2018), mainly of potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli.
The sales of the Consortium increased by approximately 42% thanks to its widest range of products and a better market consistency and stability.
Contributions to a more organized sector for potatoes, through the platform of the National Potato Committee that Rikolto promoted to all the actors in the sector; the country has a Competition Agreement Framework, which has contributed enormously to improve national production and regulate importation.
The establishment of an Inter-Institutional Technical Committee, led by Rikolto, to work on the evaluation of Tegucigalpa’s Food System. Participants include the Honduras Agricultural Consortium, FAO, UTSAN, and the municipality.
City of Tegucigalpa
Municipal Association of Honduras (AMHON)
Consorcio Agrocomercial de Honduras
La Colonia Supermarket
Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School
Autonomous National University of Honduras (UNAH)
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
GOAL in Honduras
Banco de Alimentos Honduras
Interested in partnering up? Contact us!