26 The Daily News, Frday, July 1996
Honduras an interesting site for agri-conference
This past week a group of agri-
cultural scientists, extension agents
and specialists from the University
of the Virgin Islands attended the 32
annual meetings of the Caribbean
Food Crops Society in Honduras.
Also at these meetings the Agri-
culture Department agriculturists
and a St. Croix farmer attended.
In the ready 1960s, this organiza-
tion was established on St. Croix
for the purpose of bringing together
Caribbean agricultural scientists
and others in various fields of sci-
ence to address the issues of agri-
cultural development in the
The theme was "the Role of
Information Systems in Agricultural
In order for agriculture to move
ahead, scientific information-shar-
ing is important for scientists to
meet the challenges of today and
tomorrow changes in food and envi-
ronmental conversation. Thus, the
Internct isa new tool for agriculture
development in the Caribbean if the
region is to e competitive globally
in food production.
The electric character of the
Internet and its penetration into
almost every comer of the globe
have created a rich and often unpre-
dictabl environment in which share.
ing information is sometimes more
important than the geopolitical and
social boundaries that separate us.
So if an agricultural scientist
from the Virgin Islands wants infor-
mation on a particular crop from
Honduras for example, the Interne
is a tool for obtaining the latest
information available on the crop.
Just as 'umplex life forms arise
from a single organism, the Internet
Our social and business prac-
tices are becoming visibly affected
by the super highway of informa-
lion. Thus, agriculture must change
in order to respond to tomorrow
This is the first in a series of
articles I will write of what I
learned while I was in Honduras.
I will discuss briefly the politi-
cal, economic, social, cultural, and
historical aspects of Honduras and
its people in Central America.
Honduras occupies an area of
43,433 square miles bordering
Guatemala on the west, El Salvador
on the south, and Nicaragua on the
It has coastlines along the
Caribbean Sea and the Pacific
Ocean, and is the second largest
country in Central America after
Our social and business
practices are becoming
visibly affected by the
super highway Informa-
tion. Thus, agriculture
must change In order to
respond to tomorrow
Geographically, Honduras is
divided into the coastal lowland
plains of the Caribbean which
includes the alluvial plains, the
Mosquito Coat, the northern coast
the central mountains and the Pacif-
The Caribbean coast extends
about 399 miles from the mouth of
the Molagua River to the channel of
the Coco River whose waters mark
the frontier with Nicaragua and
coast reaching the Gulf of Fonseca
in the Pacific.
Mountains cover about 80 per-
cent of Honduras' land mass with
elevation reaching 9,843 feet above
For example, at the Gulf of Fon-
seca the mountains reach the coast-
lines where they are transformed
into beautiful cliffs. The uplands of
the northwest region give way to a
savanna that extends to the coast.
Honduras has a population of about
five million people.
The heart of the mountains is
where 70 percent of its inhabitants
live. Only about two percent of the
country is made up of plains areas
The Pacific region is made up
largely of lush mangrove swamps
bordering the Gulf of Fonseca with
narrow fluvial plains that reach as
far as the mountain slopes.
Off this coastal area lies Zacate
Grande island. The Caribbean
region of Honduras call "the coast"
which developed about two decades
In this area, agriculture flourish.
es because of the number of rivers
across the area. Among these are
the Chamelecon. Paulaya, Ulna.
Sicoa and Aguan. In some of these
areas arc the country's principal
ports Tela, La Ceiba and Puerto
On the eastern side of the coast
is isolated by its own geography
In this area live the Gurifumrr
people, a culture resulting from
African slaves mixing with the
This area extends from Puerto
Cones to the mouth of the Paulaya
River. And from the Brus Lagoon
to Cape Gracias a Dios in the north
lie the country's most extensive
lowlands known as La Mosquitia
and where scattered tribes descend-
ed from the Miskito Indians live.
Off the Caribbean coast of Hon-
duras stretch the archipelagos of the
Islas del Cisne Swan islands and of
the Bay which form part of the
world second largest coral reef
ecosystems Traditionally, this area
is where many coastal people fish'
which makes up part of their daily
What makes Honduras so unique
to me is the diversity of Ihe topog-
raphy and its people.
Olosee Davis. who holds a mas.
er ofscience degree m range man.
agement and forestry ecology. rs'
St. Croix ecologist, activist nd