Fundacion Hondurena de Investigacion Agricola (FHIA)/ Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Research
Fundacion Hondurena de Investigacion Agricola (FHIA) was established on May 15, 1984 by a group of representatives from both public as well as private institutions connected to the national agriculture sector. It was established as a means to strengthen the process by which technology could be generated, validated, and transferred to the Honduran agricultural sector. FHIA has its headquarters in the Municipality of La Lima, Cortés that include offices, laboratories, and warehouses. It also operates four experimental stations in different agro-climatic zones throughout the country that conduct research, technology transfer activities, and protection of phytogenetic resources.
The FHIA has several programs, one of them is the Cacao and Agroforestry Program. Its purpose is to generate, validate and transfer appropriate technology utilising an agroforestry system for small and medium-sized producers in flat lands and hillsides with high precipitation. The system is a profitable alternative to the traditional migratory slash and burn agriculture. So far, it has proven to be a successful program. Cacao yields have doubled from the beginning of the program until 1998. After 22 years of intense research, agro-forestry systems associated with the use of certain species of fine and hardwood timber trees have been developed for cocoa production. These higher-value systems have significantly increased producer incomes.
In April 2010, the FHIA began a Project for the Promotion of High Value Agroforestry Systems with Honduran Cacao. This project was made possible with the financial support of the Canadian Government. The implementation of the project includes the promotion and the organisation and support of communities. It currently has a presence in 590 communities which provides technical assistance to 3,115 families, of which 2,479 have established 2311.65 hectares of new cocoa agroforestry. The women and men involved receive technical assistance and orientation of the management of agroforestry systems, to strengthen their participation in the decision-making of the cocoa value chain.