Grow Ahead Partners with Food 4 Farmers for Reforestation Projects in Nicaragua, Colombia, and Guatemala

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  

August 5, 2020


Lauren Berlekamp 202-657-7754 <[email protected]>

Lilia Letsch 541-702-6246 <[email protected]>

Grow Ahead Partners with Food 4 Farmers to Help Women, Indigenous Farmers Improve Food Security and Biodiversity in Nicaragua, Colombia, and Guatemala

Crowdfunding Platform Launches Agroforestry Campaigns for Food Security and Climate Resilience in Smallholder Farming Communities in Latin America

PORTLAND, OR — Grow Ahead, a digital platform that supports farmer-led climate resiliency projects around the world, is joining forces with Food 4 Farmers in partnership with Indigenous and women-led farming cooperatives. This new initiative will launch three crowdfunding campaigns to plant over 93,000 food and habitat trees in community agroforestry projects in Colombia, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Food 4 Farmers co-designs and develops food security and farm diversification strategies to help coffee-growing communities overcome food insecurity. Planting a huge variety of food, fuel and pollinator habitat trees will make healthy food accessible to residents of these communities, provide fuel for cooking, and create new sources of income for farmers who depend on coffee cultivation, while increasing biodiversity to improve resilience to climate change. 

“Increased biodiversity that comes from integrating trees into agricultural land contributes to food and nutrition security of rural farmers,” says Julia Gentner, Project Manager for Grow Ahead. “By adopting agroforestry practices, smallholder farmers are able to increase their food security while simultaneously sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, bettering their economic opportunities, and enhancing other essential ecosystem services. Such a response that offers wide reaching, mutually reinforcing benefits is what is needed to ensure smallholder farmers’ survival in the face of climate change.” 

Due to the massive threat that it poses, climate change mitigation is becoming a top priority for small-scale farmers. Until now, most mitigation efforts have not led to short-term increases in income or welfare. Small-scale farmers now see agroforestry as a way to mitigate the impacts of climate change, while increasing their food security.

“Community-led agroforestry projects help farming families, especially women and Indigenous communities, take the lead in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and global food supply chains. This campaign will deliver more financial security, better health, and more resilient local ecosystems,” says Janice Nadworny, Co-Director of Food 4 Farmers. “Transforming monoculture coffee farms into biodiverse food forests, and the habitat they create, will have a powerful, visible impact throughout the communities and regions where we work.” 

Using Grow Ahead’s website, people from around the world can learn more and support these three new food security reforestation campaigns through the platform:


SOPPEXCCA – Women-led Reforestation in Nicaragua [

The SOPPEXCCA coffee cooperative plans to plant 34,950 trees and plants on 103 women-run coffee farms and home gardens. The women of SOPPEXCCA have developed the first organic farmers market in Jinotega to bring fruits, vegetables, and other products to a city of 130,000 people with little access to chemical-free food.

“When women have access to the means of production of food, they have access to local markets and can move toward economic independence,” says Fatima Ismael, Director of SOPPEXCCA. “With women making up 40% of SOPPEXCCA‘s membership, the cooperative plays an important role in the empowerment of women in local communities, by centering women farmer leadership.”


COMPECAFE – Indigenous-led Reforestation in Colombia []

COMPECAFE is a coffee cooperative of 1,400 indigenous small-scale coffee farmers in the northern mountains of Cauca. This project will plant 16,875 trees, add a new tree nursery, and include hardwoods, bananas, plantains, bamboo and fruit trees – for food production, shading coffee plants and water conservation for 150 families.


Maya Ixil – Reforestation and Beekeeping in Guatemala []

Maya Ixil, a cooperative of 200 Indigenous small-scale coffee farmers, will plant 42,000 trees and cover crops on 200 farms. The trees and cover crops will also support the Maya Ixil beekeeping program, by increasing pollination and the productivity of local food production.




Grow Ahead is a crowdfunding platform that supports small-scale family farmers in addressing climate change in their communities. By contributing through Grow Ahead, individuals and organizations can support climate resiliency initiatives that have a proven track record of success in farming communities.

To learn more about Grow Ahead, please visit:



Food 4 Farmers believes lasting solutions to hunger come from effective strategies that fit the community.

Food 4 Farmers’ approach is driven by the families and communities served, with programs to create long-term, effective solutions to food insecurity that diversify income, support adaptation to climate change, build gender equity, and improve livelihoods.

To learn more about Food 4 Farmers, please visit: