Food Security

Climate-smart agriculture program helps Guatemalan farmers resist drought

Leer en español

Guatemala City, May 4, 2017 - A yearlong food security and disaster risk reduction project in Guatemala ends today with successful results. The "Yo Me Adapto" (I adapt) program, funded by the U.S. Agency for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and implemented by PADF, helped vulnerable communities in the municipalities of Sansare and Sanarate in El Progreso Department. Through training offered to farmers in the region, PADF encouraged the use of new, climate-smart farming techniques. The initiative helped farmers maximize crop yields and mitigate food insecurity in Guatemala in a sustainable way.

PADF worked with farmers affected by the worst drought in Guatemala in decades. By sharing methods to improve crop productivity in affected areas, PADF managed to improve the lives of approximately 9,000 farmers and their families facing severe food insecurity. PADF worked with with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) to expand and strengthen the existing network of Rural Development Learning Centers (CADER), managed by the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA).

Throughout the project, PADF established 20 new CADERs and strengthened the capacity of an additional 40 centers. An average of 25 families participated in the agricultural activities and training of these spaces. A demonstration farm was established in Sanarate where agricultural techniques and crops in drought-prone areas were analyzed. PADF shared these best practices and technologies with the families that participated in the CADER. Through the "Yo Me Adapto" program, PADF promoted the use of greenhouses, soil conservation techniques, efficient irrigation systems and climate monitoring systems to protect crops against the inclement weather, invasive species, and to achieve better crop production. These techniques were transmitted to more than 1,500 families.

"The best thing we have learned is to produce our own food, for the benefit of our children," says Elsa Maritza Ruano Morales of CADER "Los Aritos" in Sansare. "In this way we prevent diseases caused by a poor diet. In addition, we now have farming methods that are good for the environment, so that we can maintain our crops, prepare for drought and survive. "

During the program, PADF and partners held workshops with 60 CADER members and provided technical assistance for the development of Community Action Plans. Through these plans, farmers were able to identify and understand threats to their food security, as well as strategies to improve food production, support income generation, and mitigate and overcome barriers to food security. To achieve this, PADF provided farmers with the tools necessary to put everything they learned into practice.

The Foundation was able to provide the project beneficiaries with resources to plan and implement their action plans, through donations that included irrigation systems, greenhouses and pumping equipment. Thanks to these efforts, members of both new and existing CADERs had the opportunity to learn how to determine the best crop varieties to plant using the best equipment. They also received bean, corn and vegetable seeds, which will provide them with better food during the dry season.

“Thanks to the training we’ve learned how to diversify our crops and sell them in the local market,” says Melvin Morales, a farmer in the village of San Rafael, Sanarate Department. “Increasing our incomes will give us the chance to withstand the drought, and have food year-round.”

According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

About PADF
The Pan American Development Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region.

About USAID
This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

*The contents are the responsibility of PADF and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

PADF Delivers Donations to Help Guatemalan Farmers Combat drought

Leer en Español

Guatemala City (March 2, 2017) - The Program Promoting Food Security and Resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction in Agriculture ("I Adapt") seeks to help vulnerable families in the municipalities of Sansare and Sanarate in the Department El Progreso. Through trainings given to farmers, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) has encouraged the use of new climate-smart farming techniques. With the support of the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), this initiative has encouraged the use of techniques to maximize crop yields and alleviate food insecurity in Guatemala.

PADF is working with farmers affected by the worst drought in decades. By sharing methodologies that can improve crops in affected areas, PADF aims to improve the lives of 9,000 vulnerable farmers and their families. In partnership with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), the existing network of Rural Development Learning Centers (CADERs), managed by the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA), has been expanded and strengthened.

Since 2016, PADF has established 20 new learning centers and strengthened operations for an additional 40, with an average of 25 families participating in the agricultural activities of each center. A “Finca Demostrativa” (Demonstration Farm) has been established in Sanarate where agricultural techniques and crops are evaluated to determine their effectiveness in areas prone to drought. PADF is sharing best practices and agricultural technologies with the families that participate in the learning centers. The program has encouraged the use of greenhouses, soil conservation techniques, efficient irrigation systems and climate monitoring systems to improve crop production. These techniques are being transmitted to more than 1,500 families.

Elsa Maritza Ruano Morales, from the "Los Aritos" learning center in Sansare, says: "One of the best things we have learned is to produce our own food, for the benefit of our children. In this way, we can prevent diseases due to poor diet. In addition, we have learned methods that are good for the environment, how to maintain our crops and prepare for drought and to survive.”
To date, PADF and partners have held workshops with 60 learning center members and provided technical assistance for the development of Community Action Plans. Through these plans, farmers are able to identify and understand threats to their food security, as well as strategies to improve food production and support income generation. Through the donation of greenhouses, irrigation systems and pumping equipment, PADF seeks to provide communities with the resources necessary to implement their action plans.

Thanks to these efforts, both new and existing CADERs have the opportunity to determine the best crop varieties to be planted using quality equipment. Now, they have the tools necessary for them to put into practice what they’ve learned. They have also been given seeds of beans, corn and other vegetables to provide more food during the dry season in these municipalities.     

"With all that has been learned and obtained from the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), we hope to produce more food that not only benefits our families, but also to sell our crops at the market," says Melvin Morales of CADER San Rafael, Sanarate.

According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean. PADF has redoubled its efforts to help local farmers to be prepare for the impact of climate change and to ensure food sustainability. In this case, the community’s response allowed them to identify problems and solutions and to collaborate with PADF to mitigate food insecurity in the country.

*The content is the responsibility of PADF and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the Government of the United States of America.

Climate-Smart Agriculture Program Helps Guatemalan Farmers Withstand Drought

Climate-Smart Agriculture Program Helps Guatemalan Farmers Withstand Drought

As Guatemala faces its worst drought in decades, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is helping thousands of farmers in the Dry Corridor cope with recurring drought and combat food insecurity through a new program funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

USAID/OFDA-funded Project Promotes Climate-Smart Agriculture in Guatemala

Demonstration Farms Offer Training to Communities Affected by Drought

Washington, D.C (November 18, 2015) – A new program funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) will enhance the ability of thousands of vulnerable farmers in Guatemala’s “Dry Corridor” to withstand cyclical droughts.

Funded by USAID/OFDA and implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) in collaboration with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), the “Yo Me Adapto” (I Adapt) project will promote climate-smart agricultural practices in drought-stricken communities in the Dry Corridor. The project will improve agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods for approximately 9,000 people in the municipalities of Sanarate and Sansare in Guatemala’s El Progreso Department.

Download a fact sheet about the project.

Download a fact sheet about the project.

Recurring droughts over the past several years have led to crop losses, severely affecting the food supply in these underserved communities. The two-year project builds on and expands an existing network of Rural Development Learning Centers (CADERs) run by Guatemala’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA).

“While farming has always been challenging in the region, repeated drought at critical times during the crop cycle is eroding food security,” says Liza Mantilla, director of disaster management at PADF. “We are pleased to work with USAID and local partners in Guatemala to expand a farmer-to-farmer approach to deliver knowledge and practical support for improved productivity.” 

Through the program, PADF and UVG will establish a master demonstration farm, which will serve as a training ground for government technicians and community leaders to learn about best practices and cost-efficient technologies for climate-smart agriculture. PADF will also establish 20 new rural centers to teach sustainable farming practices including rainwater harvesting and irrigation technologies; crop diversification; soil conservation methods; vermicomposting; and reforestation.

“This project is an effort to build the capacity of rural communities whose livelihoods are threatened by prolonged drought,” says Fernando Castañaza, PADF's senior program manager in Guatemala. “By increasing the resilience of farmers and helping to adapt their farming techniques to a changing climate, we will improve food security and promote lasting change. These farmers will have the skills and tools to adapt the changing climate.”

PADF will also provide additional trainings in entrepreneurship, leadership and civic engagement, and award grants to 20 rural learning centers to develop an action plan for income generation.  

ABOUT PADF
The Pan American Development Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. In 2014, PADF reached more than 15 million people by investing over $92 million in development resources in 27 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

About USAID
This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

*The contents are the responsibility of PADF and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.