Farmers “graze” Indio-Maíz

Based on the environmental monitoring that Batallón Cívico Indio-Maíz does we can confirm that there is a rise in the presence of big farmers in the core zone of the protected area.

In all the reported cases these people are mature adult men that live and have land in other towns in Nicaragua (El Ayote, Santo Tomas, Nueva Guinea, El Tortuguero, San Miguelito y El Almendro).

These people have recently started to invade (in the last 5 years) large portions of the forest (between 200 and 3000 acres) that they got from local land dealers, paying prices that range between C$1500 (US$48) and C$3000 (US$95) per acre.

Once the land has been invaded it goes through a process of change through deforestation and fires, passing directly from forest to paddock in many cases with pastures for grazing.

To do this work the farmer takes to the area one of several workers that he trusts so he can work as a foreman.

These people are the ones in charge of the deforestation, moving equipment, materials and tools (gas, chainsaws, pasture seeds, barbed wire), constructing the basic building (a house, a fence, a coop), and hiring local settlers for other farming activities.

In many cases the foremen are armed and have direct communication with the main farmer that visits the land a few times in the year.

The areas that these farmers deforest per year varies between 40 and 400 acres depending on their financial wealth.

When the pasture is established, they move in their steers in so in a few months they come out again to be sold.

It calls our attention that a lot of the cattle that has been found in the core zone of Indio Maiz is tagged which makes us think that it is part of the process of tracing that the institute of agricultural protection and health (IPSA) handles.

Due to this situation we would like to know if the pasture areas inside Indio Maiz are authorised or if the system is faulty.