Pathways of development in the hillsides of Honduras

causes and implications for agricultural production, poverty, and sustainable resource use

John L. Pender, Sara J. Scherr, Guadalupe Durón
eptd discussion paper

Based on a survey of 48 communities in central Honduras, this paper identifies the major pathways of development that have been occurring in central Honduras since the mid-1970s, their causes and implications for agricultural productivity, natural resource sustainability, and poverty. Six pathways of development were identified: 1) basic grains expansion communities-where basic grains production is the dominant activity and increased basic grains production has occurred; 2) basic grains stagnation communities-where basic grains production is dominant but has stagnated or declined; 3) coffee expansion communities-where coffee production is important and has been increasing in importance; 4) horticultural expansion communities-where substantial adoption and expansion of horticultural crops has occurred; 5) forestry specialization communities-where forestry activities are important and basic grains production is stagnant or declining; and 6) nonfarm employment communities-where nonfarm employment is a major and increasing source of income. The findings imply that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to technical assistance is unlikely to be successful, since different approaches show promise in different pathways.