IDRC support for Honduran researchers began in 1978. Early research focused on improving crops and cropping systems. Resulting technologies increased the yields of staple and cash crops, and farmers quickly adopted them. Notable is our 10-year support for the banana breeding program at the Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Research. Their productive, disease resistant banana hybrids are now grown around the world.
In the wake of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, IDRC launched a five-year initiative to help Honduran universities and organizations improve how they plan and implement development programs. As a result, foundations to support innovation were established, along with research competitions on water and energy.
Putting remittances to work
IDRC-funded research found that Hondurans working abroad in 2006 sent home $2.4 billion in remittances. These funds ensured the survival of rural families and communities. Their recommended use was to create more sustainable sources of revenue.
As a result, municipal authorities in Catacamas factored in remittances as an asset to their local economic development plans. Communities also identified other initiatives such as youth employment training, management and investment counselling, and a telecentre to connect migrants with their families.
A weapon against Chagas
The best way to treat Chagas disease — an insect-borne illness that can be fatal late in life — is to treat children at the time of infection. In Honduras, early diagnosis and prompt treatment among children in remote areas is difficult.
With IDRC support, World Vision Honduras tested a diagnosis and treatment package that successfully treated approximately 400 rural children. The national Chagas control program has drawn on the experience to extend treatment to more Honduran children.
104 projects worth CA$15.2 million since 1978
Our research is helping
- improve the quality of Honduran researchers’ skills
- ensure residents have enough to eat
- reduce violent crime that threatens political and social stability
- prevent vulnerable youth from falling into violence
- test an insect control program to reduce Chagas disease