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Guatemalan Farmers’ Group Confronts Climate Change with Various Methods

Guatemalan Farmers’ Group Confronts Climate Change with Various Methods

For many developing nations grappling with climate shocks, chronic droughts are a familiar problem. In Guatemala, recurrent dry spells are a leading cause of soil degradation and food-supply shortages, forcing many to migrate and threatening the livelihoods of local farmers.

With the support of the Inter-American Foundation, a Feed the Future partner agency, an organization called Ut’z Che’ is taking action to turn the tide. Banding together a network of more than 40 indigenous farmers’ and community associations, Ut’z Che’ partners with smallholder farmers throughout the country to foster sustainable farming practices. By promoting more sustainable tools like harvesting rainwater and providing crop production training, Ut’z Che’ safeguards vital natural resources and helps local farmers earn a consistent living.

To date, Ut’z Che’ has trained more than 750 farmers and protected more than 6,000 hectares of forest, bringing stable income for more than 900 Guatemalan families—income that allows people to feed their families and reinvest in their communities. Last year during the pandemic, the network provided access to basic grains amid widespread food-supply shortages, becoming a crucial lifeline for local communities.

Driving these sustainable farming practices is essential for vulnerable communities adapting to the effects of climate change. In 2020 the United Nations Development Programme awarded the Equator Prize to Ut’z Che’, underscoring its critical efforts to fight poverty through sustainable resource management in Guatemala.

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