The project introduces and disseminates water harvesting technologies to increase food production and income generated from a diversified rice-based production system under small-scale irrigation. Farmers and technical staff are being trained in site selection for water catchments, construction of water harvesting facilities and improved crop management practices under irrigation. Fish cultivation in the water catchments is demonstrated and aquaculture technology disseminated. The pilot water harvesting facilities provide a blueprint to regional governments and the international development community for further expansion of irrigation to small upland rice growers in the region. The project is now in its last year of operations and overall, progress in implementing project activities in Mexico and Nicaragua has to be assessed as very good and according to schedule, or even ahead. The total number of 10 pilot dams to be constructed by the project has already been achieved with four more to be completed by the end of the project, even though the construction costs were higher than anticipated (mainly due to high fuel costs). The larger amount of constructed dams was made possible, because the project successfully attracts co-finance from various additional sources. The PEA is continuing to secure additional finance to out scale and mass reproduce the construction of reservoirs especially in Nicaragua, where the project has received a great deal of attention. At this moment the Dutch microfinance institution OIKOCREDIT is in negotiations to provide finance to municipalities for on-lending to interested farmers.

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