History of UNAG
UNAG (Union Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos, or in English, National Union of Agriculturalists and Ranchers) was created 1981 under the new Sandinista government, established 1979 to support small rural farmers and producers.
Initially, UNAG defended the land rights of individual and cooperatives farmers, working closely with the Sandinista government. Agrarian reform and cooperative movements heavily influenced UNAG, and in 1990, the organization separated from the Sandinista Party, becoming its own independent venture.
UNAG played an important role in the reconciliation of Nicaragua with the government of Doña Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in 1990 and contributed to the pacification of the country. UNAG was heavily affect during a 1990s economic downturn, as it was also dealing with a dysfunctional Board of Directors. Even so, UNAG has managed to adapt its structures to the drastic changes occurring in the country. Since UNAG’s third congress, held in 1997, UNAG has been constantly modernized and its organizational structures consolidated and democratized.
Today, UNAG's main goal is to support small-scale producers regardless of their politics. UNAG’s approach to social and economic issues is also very broad: economic and social democratization, sustainable development, reduction of poverty, and human development are all part of UNAG’s national and local agenda. UNAG is extensive in the scope of its services, providing technical advice and workshops on sustainable growing techniques, nutrition, livestock vaccination, and financial security in the form of microloans. Although other such organizations exist, UNAG is the only organization recognized by the federal government. Because of its non-profit status and Nicaragua’s persistent poverty following U.S. intervention, UNAG lacks sufficient funding. This is where the Nicaragua Sister Partnership comes in!