Plot diversification workshop
Levels of poverty - particularly in rural areas and among indigenous groups - and inequality remain among the highest in Guatemala. Also, the level of chronic child malnutrition (48% of children under five, 80% of whom are from indigenous groups) has a definite impact on the education and health of these children.
The Alta Verapaz department is the poorest in Guatemala, in several municipalities more than half of the population lives in extreme poverty (The index of human development in 2014 was estimated at 53.6%). The municipality of Chahal in Alta Verapaz, is among the poorest in the country with a poverty level of 92.1% and 54.4% of extreme poverty. It is located in the northwest of the department and is essentially composed with 98% of Qeqchi - maya people from Guatemala - very young (58% is under 18). This municipality has been identified, since 2011, by the state as one of the 102 municipalities with the greatest food vulnerability in the country. According to the government's Food and Nutrition Security monitoring system, 31 rural communities in the department have been identified as priorities. Five of them are participating in this project (Sepilha, Siguanja I, Santa Rita, Chaquiroqija and Sejux).
Moreover, the department of Alta Verapaz is affected by the pollution of its rivers, mining (metallic, non-metallic), hydroelectric projects and territorial conflicts linked to palm oil monocultures which weaken the social fabric of the community. There has been an increase in social protests since 2012.
3 years from February 1, 2018 to January 31, 2021.
Objectives of our project
Global: Contribute to improving the living conditions of 175 families from 10 communities in the municipality of Chahal by promoting alternative systems and models guaranteeing sound management of natural and food resources.
- Promote the establishment and management of agro-forestry systems for the protection of natural resources and the achievement of food security in 10 communities in the municipality of Chahal
- Promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles that respect the environment for the 175 identified families from 10 communities in the municipality of Chahal (Alta Verapaz).
Direct: 121 men and 169 women for a total of 175 families
Indirect: 585 members of 175 families from 10 communities
Criteria: the participants in the project are indigenous farmers; farmer cultivating corn, beans (frijol) and other native crops. Five of these ten marginalized communities are located far from the city where the municipality sits (without institutional presence) and have already participated in the project in the previous phase where they could have been introduced to methods and practices improving agricultural productivity, animal reproduction. and savings and credit practices; however, their self-sufficiency is not yet assured.
- Producers increase diversified agricultural productivity and local economic opportunities
- Producers' access to local and regional markets for the marketing of their agrarian products is improved
- The families of producers have improved their diet on the basis of agro-ecological production
- The families of producers have adopted healthy and environmentally friendly hygiene practices and habits.
Project progress in 2019
The project, initiated in 2018 could be operated during phase 2 - 2019. Most of the planned activities were carried out.
Result 1: Through training, support and technical assistance, 18.7 hectares of land were transformed into farming systems according to an agroforestry model in the 5 communities in the second phase of the project. The breeding of 3,652 poultry and 391 pigs was carried out during the first semester of 2019.
There are a total of 182 families participating in the project (7 more than expected) with 63.66 hectares (54.05 for profit and 9.61 for family food).
77 families are developing 35.33 hectares for the establishment of agroforestry management systems. The breeding of 4,556 poultry (duck, turkey and chicken) and 330 pigs is underway.
Result 2: The participants from the 5 communities developed tools for marketing agricultural products in the markets of the region. 34.28% of the families in phase 2 of the project (36 out of 105 families) increased their income by 734,175 Q (or approximately € 2,472 per family).
5 marketing networks have been launched, one for cocoa, another for achiote, another for pepper, chili and cardamom. These networks allow the promotion of products originating from agroecology.
Result 3: 182 families participating in the project have acquired new knowledge concerning environmentally friendly diets and the preparation of balanced and healthy menus. 103 children had a medical check-up with their growth monitoring in order to measure and monitor levels of malnutrition. 49 children were diagnosed as malnourished and with growth problems.
Result 4: 182 families participating in the project benefited from awareness sessions carried out by midwives and health promoters. A total of 36 people (18 men and 18 women) benefited from the training.
There is a strong commitment from the 182 families from the 10 communities participating in the project. The support and training work in the communities enabled an improvement in the income of participating families in 734,174Q for all 182 families. Awareness of diets and hygiene habits has led to a reduction in malnourished children.
- Need to develop a disease prevention plan for animal husbandry.
- Develop the marketing, accounting and resource administration process.
- Reinforce the tools to measure production.
The total project budget is € 273,424.55 over 3 years. An agreement has been given to the partner for a contribution from Secours Catholique - Caritas France of € 210,000 for the three years of the program including € 70,000 in 2019.
Agronomic technologies workshop
Development of a marketing plan