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Guatemala has tremendous potential for expanding its agricultural production, which would lead to rural economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation. Guatemala is recognized as a leader in non-traditional agricultural exports in Central America, such as snow peas, green beans, baby/mini-vegetables, and fruits, whose production has grown exponentially over the past 10 years, benefitting smallholder farmers.

  • 98.7 THOUSAND
    Producers using improved technology and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY17
  • $47.8 MILLION
    Annual agricultural sales generated by Guatemalans reached by Feed the Future in FY17 
  • 215 THOUSAND
    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY17
  • $4.4 MILLION
    New private investment leveraged by Feed the Future in FY17


  • 29 PERCENT
    Reduction in the prevalence of poverty in the areas where Feed the Future has worked* 
  • 10.2 PERCENT
    Reduction in the prevalence of stunting in children under 5 years old in the areas where Feed the Future has worked

Key Achievements

One of the major Feed the Future projects in Guatemala reduced extreme poverty by 37 percent and increased daily income by 19 percent among project participants from 2013 to 2017.

Guatemala’s coffee farmers have faced huge losses in production since the outbreak of the coffee rust fungus between 2012 and 2013. Feed the Future responded by providing farmers with access to new seedlings of rust resistant varieties and by providing workers with training on how to properly apply pesticides to mitigate the fungus. Farmers also received advice and training on agricultural practices for crop management, post-harvest handling and integrated pest management. By applying these practices, farmers increased both the sales and quality of their coffee beans. Average coffee yields increased by more than six percent to 26,390 pounds of coffee per hectare during the 2017 harvest compared to the previous year.

Feed the Future also helped farmers diversify their income sources and promoted community savings groups. 124 Food for Peace-supported groups saved a total of $66,756 and disbursed 1,031 loans worth a total of $115,890. Another program, AgriJoven, helped 780 young farmers save $43,000 to help with the purchase of agricultural technologies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trained farmers, packers and exporters on compliance with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act. Activities promoted traceability technology to monitor agrochemical applications, record harvest dates, and crop production location. USDA trained 300 agriculture producers on integrated pest management and other good agriculture practices to enable smallholder farmers to better control pests in their crops. With Feed the Future’s support, FARMFORCE traceability software sold subscriptions to five new export companies, enabling 1,866 smallholders to retain access to export markets.

Feed the Future trained more than 28,000 people on the importance of dietary diversity, protein consumption (from beans and animal-source foods), and water, sanitation and hygiene. Through increased productivity of improved bean and maize varieties as well as incorporation of small livestock rearing and home gardens, families increased the availability of diverse, nutritious foods by 39 percent. Families sold surplus production from their home gardens in local markets, providing additional annual income of $300 per family.


These results reflect information from USAID, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Peace Corps, reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2017 (FY17). For more information on the indicators above, please view our Feed the Future Indicator Handbook. All dollar amounts are listed in U.S. dollars.

*The change in prevalence of poverty or stunting for this country was not statistically significant, meaning the margin of error of the survey sample was too great to conclusively demonstrate change. For more details on impact data, view the Feed the Future 2018 progress snapshot.


  • Strengthen market-led agricultural development
  • Prevent and treat chronic malnutrition
  • Improve access to food and health services
  • Boost nutrition, especially among women and children

Zones of Influence in Guatemala

Map of Guatemala
  • Totonicapán
  • San Marcos
  • Huehuetenango
  • Quetzaltenango
  • Quiché

Background Stats

  • 1.6 MILLION
    Number of people living in Feed the Future target regions (Feed the Future Survey, 2015)
  • 2.8 PERCENT
    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 10.1% of added value (World Bank, 2017)
  • 49.3 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living in rural Guatemala (World Bank, 2017)
  • 76.1 PERCENT
    Percentage of rural population living under the national poverty line (ENCOVI 2014)

Value Chains

  • Coffee
  • Horticulture
Woman with tomatoes grown in a greenhouse in Guatemala.


Food security is a pressing concern in Guatemala, especially when it comes to children. Half of all children under five years old in this Central American country are chronically malnourished—the worst level of malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere.

The statistics are even more alarming in the Western Highlands of the country, where the majority of the population is indigenous. Feed the Future focuses its efforts in this target region where chronic malnutrition among young children is over 62.3 percent. Guatemala faces high levels of chronic malnutrition for many reasons, including the lack of economic resources and knowledge to buy and consume foods that meet nutritional needs. Families also lack access to adequate healthcare and sanitation services.

Despite these challenges, Guatemala has tremendous potential for expanding its agricultural production, which would lead to rural economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation. Guatemala is recognized as a leader in non-traditional agricultural exports in Central America, such as snow peas, green beans, and baby/mini-vegetables and fruits, whose production has grown exponentially over the past decade, benefitting smallholder farmers.

Supporting smallholder farmers who work in horticulture and coffee production is an essential starting point for alleviating poverty in Guatemala, as the earnings from these commodities stimulate growth and job creation for the entire economy. Understanding that increased incomes do not always translate into improved nutrition, Feed the Future implements behavior change communication activities to promote feeding and hygiene practices that improve child health. In alignment with the Government of Guatemala, Feed the Future programs also enhance agricultural productivity while integrating resilience and nutrition-sensitive agriculture activities.


Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Guatemala.

  • Central America Agribusiness and Logistics Regional Program
  • Demographic and Health Survey (ENSMI) INCAP
  • Feed the Future Guatemala Coffee Value Chains Project
  • Feed the Future Innovative Solutions for Agricultural Value Chains Project
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Grain Legumes (MasFrijol)
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture (MasRiego and Semillas de Esperanza)
  • Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation
  • Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III (FANTA)
  • Food for Peace Programs: Food Security Focused on the First Thousand Days (SEGAMIL) and Western Highlands Program of Integrated Actions for Food Security and Nutrition (PAISANO)
  • Health and Education Policy Project (HEP+)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute Research Grant
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) maize-based farming systems (BuenaMilpa)
  • Nexos Locales Local Governance Project
  • Peace Corps
  • Rural Value Chains Project (AGEXPORT and Anacafe)
  • Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Project
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program
  • USDA Support for Sanitary and Phytosanitary and Other Agriculture-Related Capacity Building to Promote Food Security and Trade Integration

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