Fintrac has trained hundreds of thousands of farmers to protect and efficiently use water resources. This approach often includes drip irrigation, which delivers exact amounts of water to plants, thus maximizing efficiencies and producing higher yields. We conserve water through watershed management, water reuse, surface runoff prevention, and specially-designed field packing facilities and greenhouses.
In Zimbabwe, under the Zim-AIED program, Fintrac worked with farmer groups on irrigation schemes to improve productivity and water management in arid regions. Growers learned to manage and maintain communal irrigation systems. At the Mutema Irrigation Scheme smallholder banana farmers earned 12 times their previous incomes because of improved production practices and access to reliable water.
Fintrac helps farmers protect soil and maintain fertility through techniques including terrace farming, contoured plowing, crop residue elimination, vegetative covers, grazing management, windbreaks, forest conservation, agroforestry, and permanent soil conservation structures made of earth, stone, or masonry. We train farmers to manage soil pH and salinity, rotate crops, and use organic material to keep soils healthy and productive.
In Honduras, Fintrac introduced small-scale coffee farmers to natural microbes that, when applied to coffee pulp, produce organic fertilizer. This technique prevents water contamination from coffee runoff and eliminates the toxic gases associated with pulp decomposition. In addition to protecting the environment, farmers are reducing their fertilizer costs and even generating extra income from the sale of the surplus fertilizer to local markets.
In Nepal, Fintrac benefitted nearly one million people through infrastructure projects and improvements in commercial agriculture practices. Our efforts enabled villagers to farm with less vulnerability to flooding while protecting thousands of hectares of farmland soil against erosion. Our program helped them “build back better” by creating stone and masonry structures for water diversion and embankment protection.
Emissions from forestry, including deforestation and land use change due to agricultural expansion, represents 17.4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The technical assistance Fintrac provides at the farm and policy level can mitigate the harmful effect of destructive practices and increase productivity of current areas under production while protecting uncultivated soils and reforesting depleted woodlands.
In Cambodia, Fintrac worked to protect the Central Cardamoms, one of the most ecologically important areas in Southeast Asia, which is home to significant biodiversity. Program-supported rangers conducted thousands of patrols to conserve this 402,000 hectare forest. Improved natural resource management practices reduced 2.6 million tons of carbon emissions, 118 percent of the total target.
Farm Chemical Safety
Fintrac’s approach to agrochemical use is simple: achieve maximum pest and disease control with minimum environmental impact, using only the least harmful products in the smallest amounts necessary. We raise farmers’ awareness about health and environmental agrochemical storage, handling, application, and disposal.
We provide training in:
- EPA guidelines
- Safe and secure storage areas away from households and out of reach of children and animals
- Safe mixing procedures, transportation methods, and general handling precautions
- Crop-specific application techniques for better worker protection
- Disposal programs for empty containers in partnership with trade associations and governments
- Environmental impact of good agricultural practices on and off the farm.
Fintrac also provides technical assistance to governments to improve pesticide registries, regulations, and control measures that comply with international systems. We develop environmental management plans that meet PERSUAP and US government requirements.