Category Archives: News

Agriculture is a diverse and dynamic field of study and technology. Modern agriculture pulls together the best elements of scientific and academic study and then combines them in some sort of practical application from which, as producers, we can meet one of our many objectives in production. These objectives include: improved yields, lower cost of production, environmental considerations, and security/stability of achieving potential outcomes. All of these factors are important to modern farmers. That means that we always have much to learn! Many people involved in primary production have studied extensively and achieved a diploma or a degree reflecting their achievement. Then there are seminars, conventions and grower groups where we can continually update and improver on this flood of information. Modern farmers are constantly learning something and looking for ways to apply that new-found knowledge to their particular operations. That is the type of environment that we promote here…

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Where in the world do you find a farmer that is satisfied with the current growing season? Now I’m not implying that farmers are complainers, just that there is always this big unknown in Agriculture – the climate! Crops have pretty specific requirements to reach their genetic potential. What’s too hot for some is too cool for others, what’s moist enough for some is too dry for others….you’ve heard the saying: “It’s going to be better next year!”. It certainly is no different if you’re in Canada, Europe, or Nicaragua, the climate is not always the farmer’s friend. So how do we manage this variable within the framework of an agriculture development program? Well, from our Biblical perspective, the first thing I want to do is pray. As I pray, I am humbled by the creator God, and I am assured that He is sovereign, and I am certain that…

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I want to consider this image of a handful of beans.  These are the life-blood of the nicaraguan diet. A healthy protein source, sure, but also a cultural pride – so much revolves around the (red)bean! At La Semilla we have invested a great deal of our resources in improving yields and predictable income from this crop. It is indeed the most noble of crops cultivated in this country. Many of our initiatives have had good success at affecting yields. Planting the right genetics, good quality seed, proper seed population and weed control are among the most important. We have seen yields net the genetic potential of the varieties planted, up to 4 times the national average. December is a month to harvest. The thing is, this 2020, there is very little to harvest. In Carazo province we have lost 70-75% of the harvest. The double hurricanes of Eta and…

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Although much of the information you’ll find on our website is factual, scientific, and related to technical agriculture; do not misunderstand – WE ARE ALL ABOUT PEOPLE!  We believe that God has created each person on this earth by design and for purpose, and it is our desire to help people realize that incredible worth. Since we are dedicated to a long-term strategy for development, we are excited when some the rural folks we work with understand and adopt practices which impact their lives.  Today we want to focus on the one of these successes. Juan Altamirano is a success by our evaluation of an associated agriculture producer with La Semilla. Juan lives just outside of Diriamba, Carazo in a neighborhood called Berlin. He is a 50 year-old father, husband, and farmer. Although he doesn’t own any agriculture land of his own, he does own his own home and the…

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EXITIERRA Quality Certified Bean Seed As we have worked to improve incomes for rural Nicaraguan families, an area that you’ve heard a lot about already is our certified seed program. When we consider all the factors that influence yield, the use of quality seed for helping achieve predictable outcomes from crop production puts us at least 40% of the way  down the road to improved yields. Quality seed not only addresses issues of germination, vigor and genetic purity, it is an effort that focuses on bringing the RIGHT GENETICS to rural Nicaragua. Genetics that deliver disease resistance, grwth caracteristics, and yield that farmers want. Genetics that deliver colour, size, and taste of beans that consumers will buy. In bean production in Nicaragua, LA SEMILLA is currently the only provider of certified seed. We’ve invested lots of time and effort, and not only has it made a huge difference for farmers,…

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La Semilla is dedicated to searching ways to achieve it’s long-term agriculture development strategies. We have recently committed to a more formal partnership with the University Internacional Antonio De Valdivieso (UNIAV) located in Rivas, Nicaragua. Although the university offers more than just agriculture studies, agriculture and ag-engineering remain it’s strongest departments. All three of the full-time agronomists at La Semilla are graduates of this institution.  La Semilla sought to strengthen it’s relationship there and so in August, along with a formal visit and tour of the facilities, we committed to working together more closely for the future of agriculture in Nicaragua. This means we will both seek opportunities to colaborate on areas of interest – promotion of new seed genetics, extension services to the rural communities, joint workshops, hosting students through an official co-op agreement, promotion of the processing of agriculture products. For the months of November and December 2019,…

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We have certified bean seed for sale! Convinced of the need to improve seed quality in order to assure consistent yield results, La Semilla Ministries has been working toward the goal of bean seed certfication for a number of years. In a developing nation like Nicaragua, achieving the protocols required for certification have not been a straightforward nor an easy task. For this reason we are celebrating! Certification status in Nicaragua does not look a whole lot different than certification anywhere else in the world. Variety genetics produce foundation seed, foundation seed leads to registered, registered to certified, then certified to commercial grain. Let’s just say that the relationships between the partners involved in each step of the protocol can sometimes be strained (and suffer lack of punctuality!). But thanks to God and the tenacity of our agronomist in charge of our seed program, Franklin Garcia, we have a official…

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It’s interesting to think of how God leads us throughout our lives so that we can participate in the ways that HE is working in the world to reveal His love and His plan for His entire creation.  If you had asked me 10 years ago what I thought I might be doing with my life, there is no way I could have predicted the things that I (we, because I definitely include my wife Leslee here!) would be doing in far away Nicaragua today! But it’s a wonderful thing when God’s takes a passion to serve, combines it with certain knowledge and talent, and puts the puzzle pieces together. We’re using everything God has provided to help the rural poor of Carazo, Nicaragua. There are a lot of details in how exactly we put action to the idea of long-term agriculture development. One of the training tools we use…

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Ariel Rafael Gutierrez is our 25 year-old ag technician from the community of Pio XII. Ariel has a young family – his wife Roxanna and his one year old son Liam. Although he grew up in more of an urban community, Ariel has loved agriculture from a young age, having spent many days of his youth on the small farm operated by his grandparents. Ariel has completed a three year ag-technician course to be able to begin work with La Semilla, and is currently in year three of another three year program to achieve his agriculture studies degree from UNIAV (Universidad Internacional Antonio de Valdivieso) in RIVAS. As for most university students, education means sacrifice, and Ariel is working hard to achieve his life goals. He works 5 ½ days a week at La Semilla as an agriculture extension  worker, and every other weekend travels the 2 hours journey to…

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