FAO prepares a US$66 million program for agriculture in Guatemala

FAO will be the executing agency of the Relive program, together with Guatemala's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food and the National Forest Institute.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Guatemala will begin in 2022 the implementation of a program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with a local and international investment of US$66.7 million to create environmental jobs over the next seven years.

It is the program “Resilient livelihoods of vulnerable small farmers in the Mayan landscapes and the Dry Corridor of Guatemala” (Relive, in English), whose main contribution will be international, for $36.8 million and the rest with local funding, said Thursday a source from FAO’s communications office in Guatemala.

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The Relive program will benefit 583,146 people indirectly and will provide direct technical assistance to 116,353 small farmers, most of them of indigenous descent from the Achi, Q’echi’, Mopan and Ch’orti Mayan ethnic groups, including 46,000 women.

The program will take place in five departments in the north and east of the Central American country: Petén, Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Zacapa and Chiquimula.

The largest source of funding will come from the United Nations Green Climate Fund, with US$29.8 million, in addition to US$7 million from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica).

FAO’s program “Resilient livelihoods of vulnerable small farmers in the Mayan landscapes and the Dry Corridor of Guatemala” (Relive) will provide direct technical assistance to 116,353 small farmers. (Photo internet reproduction)

Guatemala, for its part, will provide US$24.1 million to the project through the National Forest Institute (Inab) and another US$5.7 million from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA).

WATER MANAGEMENT

“The Relive project will help vulnerable farmers in the dry corridor to adapt to climate change with climate-resilient agricultural practices and improved water management,” FAO told Efe.

With this, it is intended that 20,000 families improve their access to drinking water in the seven years to be “more resistant to drought and heat waves,” said the same source.

It also seeks to improve food security through “agroforestry practices, better access to water, and landscape restoration”, as well as “developing governance mechanisms in localities and at the national level, and promoting the active participation of women in food systems and in the management of natural resources,” said the international mission.

The women will receive support to develop local and regional trade in agroforestry products from their localities, such as coffee, cacao, fruit, vegetables, timber and non-timber products.

FAO will be the executing agency of the Relive program, together with MAGA and Inab, while the implementing partner will be the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ).

Guatemala is the second-most vulnerable country to climate change in Latin America and the eleventh most vulnerable worldwide in terms of exposure and vulnerability, according to official data collected by FAO.

By 2050, the forecast warns that rainfall will decrease between 9% and 12% and between 18% and 28% 20 years later.

The Central American country recorded an average annual temperature increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius and a 2.5% increase in the number of hot days per decade since 1960, according to the Green Climate Fund.

The Central American country is home to 16.3 million people, 59% of whom live below the poverty line.

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