Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 195–208 | Cite as

Looking back to see ahead: Farmer lessons and recommendations after 15 years of innovation and leadership in Güinope, Honduras

  • Stephen Sherwood
  • Sergio Larrea


Güinope, Honduras was the site of a highly acclaimed people-centered development project in the 1980s. The ACORDE/Ministry of Natural Resource/World Neighbors Integrated Development Program (IDP) was unique for its time, since rather than relying on technology transfer, it promoted innovation skills for local generation of responses to needs. Furthermore, it was one of the first efforts in Latin America to employ villagers as principal agents of change. Fifteen years after the inception of the IDP and ten years after its completion, the authors interviewed farmers in their fields and held a series of participatory workshops over eighteen months with ten outstanding farmers who had become project leaders. The leaders identified influential factors behind their involvement and produced recommendations for rural development interventions. Further, a generalized concept map typifying ideal characteristics for farmer promoters was constructed. Recommendations for development agencies centered on project design and implementation, demanding a methodology for strengthening local innovative capacities, participation, and control over resources. Ultimately, the leaders downplayed the role of technologies in rural development and called for special attention to enabling communities to confront external pressures, in particular recent government ``modernization'' policies, that they felt threatened community livelihood.

Extension methodology Farming innovation People-centered development Sustainable agriculture 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boserup, E. (1965). The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  2. Bunch, R. (1983). Two Ears of Corn: A People's Guide to People-Centered Agriculture Improvement. Oklahoma City: World Neighbors.Google Scholar
  3. Bunch, R. (1987). Case Study of Güinope Integrated Development Program, Güinope, Honduras. Paper presented at IIED Conference on Sustainable Development, London, 28–30 April.Google Scholar
  4. Bunch, R. and G. López (1994). Soil Ecuperation in Central America: Measuring Impact 4 to 40 Years after Intervention. Honduras: COSECHA.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, B. M., P. Bradley, and S. E. Carter (1997). "Sustainability and peasant farming: Observations from Zimbabwe." Agriculture and Human Values 14: 159–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chambers, R. (1983). Rural Development: Putting the Last First. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  7. Chambers, R., A. Pacey, and L. A. Thrupp (eds.) (1989). Farmer First. Farmer Innovation and Agricultural Research. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Cochran, W. (1976). Técnicas de muestreo (translated by E. C. Casas-Díaz), 6th edn. Mexico: Continental.Google Scholar
  9. Colverson, K. (1996). Women's Access to Agriculture Information in Honduras. PhD thesis. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.Google Scholar
  10. de Fontenay, C. (1997). Market Power and Agro-Export Production in Northern Honduras. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Economics, Stanford University, California.Google Scholar
  11. Hellin, J. and S. Larrea (1998). "Ecological and socio-economic reasons for the adoption and adaptation of live barriers in Güinope, Honduras," in H.-P. Blume, H. Eger, E. Fleischhauer, A. Hebel, C. Reij, and K. G. Stenier (eds.), Towards Sustainable Land Use: Furthering Cooperation between People and Institutions. Selected papers of the 9th conference of the International Soil Conservation Organization, Bonn, Germany, 26–30 August 1996. Advances in Geoecology 31: 1383–1388.Google Scholar
  12. Kaimowitz, D. (1996). "La ganaderia hondureña: entre la esperanza de un crecimiento incluyente y sostenible y las amenazas del latifundio y la deforestación," in E. Baumesiter (coordinator), El agro hondureño y su futuro (pp. 169–204). Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Editorial Guaymuras.Google Scholar
  13. Krishna, A. and R. Bunch (1997). "Farmer to farmer experimentation and extension: Integrated rural development for smallholders in Guatemala," in A. Krishna, N. Uphoff, and M. Esman (eds.), Reasons for Hope: Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (pp. 137–152). West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  14. Krishna, A., N. Uphoff, and M. Esman (1997). Reasons for Hope: Instructive Experiences in Rural Development. West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  15. Larrea, S. (1997). Experiencias y lecciones de agricultores innovadores sobre el desarrollo rural: Caso de Güinope, Honduras. BSc thesis. Pan American School of Agriculture, Zamorano, Honduras.Google Scholar
  16. López, G., J. García, and R. Bunch (1996). Adopción de tecnologías de conservación de suelos y agua en el distrito de Güinope, El Paraíso. Honduras: COSECHA.Google Scholar
  17. Mejia, F. (1993). Las actividades de conservación de suelos en las organizaciones privadas de desarrollo de Honduras. Tegucigalpa, Honduras: FOPRIDEH.Google Scholar
  18. Pretty, J. (1995). Regenerating Aagriculture: Policies and Practices for Sustainability and Self-Reliance. London: Earthscan Publications.Google Scholar
  19. Reijntjes, C., B. Haverkert, and A. Waters-Bayer (1995). Cultivando para el futuro: Introducción a la agricultura sustentable de bajos insumos externos. ILEIA.Google Scholar
  20. Scarborough, V, S. Killough, D. A. Johnson, and J. Farrington (1997). Farmer-Led Extension: Concepts and Practices. London: Overseas Development Institute/Intermediate Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  21. Scoones, I. and J. Thompson (eds.) (1994). Beyond Farmer First. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Selener, D. (1997). Participatory Action Research and Social Change. Ithaca, New York: The Cornell Participatory Action Research Network, Cornell University.Google Scholar
  23. Selener, D., J. Chenier, and R. Zelaya (1997). Farmer-to-Farmer Extension: Practical Lessons from Central America. Quito, Ecuador: IIRR.Google Scholar
  24. Shaxson, T. F. (1997)."Commentary: Conservation at the crossroads in tropical countries." Journal of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (January-February): 2.Google Scholar
  25. Sherwood, S. G. (1997). "Politics of inequity: The impact of recent public policy changes on small-scale agriculture of the North Coast of Honduras (in Spanish)," in M. B. Flores (coordinator), The Use of Cover Crops in Central America. Case Study for the International Workshop on Smallholder Green Manure Cover Crop Systems of Tropical and Subtropical Regions. Santa Catarina, Brazil, 6–12 April: 40–46.Google Scholar
  26. Smith, K. (1994). The Human Farm. A Tale of Changing Lives and Changing Lands. West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  27. Uphoff, N. (1992). Learning from Gal Oya. Possibilities for Participatory Development and Post-Newtonian Social Science. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  28. van Veldhuizen, L., A. Waters-Bayer, R. Ramírez, D. Johnson, and J. Thompson (eds.) (1997). Farmers' Research in Practice: Lesson from the Field. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Sherwood
    • 1
  • Sergio Larrea
    • 1
  1. 1.International Potato CenterQuitoEcuador

Personalised recommendations