Aid from U.S. Agency Doubles Income of Farmers in Honduras

By Dialogo
February 28, 2011

The income per hectare of Honduran farmers who benefited from a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) program almost doubled in two years, the U.S. agency announced on 22 February.

According to preliminary data, the producers’ annual income per hectare increased from 1,880 dollars to 3,550 dollars after two years of receiving assistance, an agency fact sheet indicated.

This is “a gain of 88 percent, which is much faster than the approximately 7 to 11 percent growth that would have been expected in the absence of the program,” the document noted.

These are preliminary figures that will be corroborated by an independent consultant whose findings are due in September, MCC chief executive officer Daniel Yohannes said during an event at the organization’s headquarters.

During its five-year program, from 2005 to 2010, the agency spent around 205 million dollars in Honduras, and according to its figures, more than seven thousand farmers benefited, and over six hundred kilometers of roads were improved.

The Honduran government, which is still recovering from the decrease in aid to that country due to the coup d’état of June 2009, hopes to obtain another “compact,” the technical name for the aid program, subject to anti-corruption and democratic-values criteria.

The Honduras program was the first to be completed by the MCC, which began under George W. Bush’s presidency, in January 2004.