Skip to Content
A Guatemalan farmer harvesting maize from a participatory plant breeding plot.
Map of Guatemala

Feed the Future works in the regions of Totonicapán, San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango and Quiché.

Feed The Future Impact

  • 29%
    Estimated reduction in the prevalence of poverty in the areas where Feed the Future has worked between 2013 and 2015*
  • 10%
    Estimated reduction in the prevalence of stunting in children under the age of 5 in the areas where Feed the Future has worked between 2013 and 2015

Value Chains

  • Coffee
  • Horticulture
See more regional stats
  • 1.6 million

    Number of people living in Feed the Future target regions in Guatemala (FTF ZOI Survey, 2015)

  • 3.8%

    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 10.2 percent of added value (World Bank, 2020)

  • 49%

    Percentage of population living in rural Guatemala (World Bank, 2019)

  • 60.6%

    Percentage of stunted children under the age of 5 living in Feed the Future target regions in Guatemala (FTF ZOI Survey, 2015)

  • 4%

    Percentage of people living in poverty in Feed the Future target regions in 2015 (FTF ZOI Survey, 2015)

Our Strategy

Strategy

Strengthen market-led agricultural development

Strategy

Prevent and treat chronic malnutrition

Strategy

Improve access to food and health services

Strategy

Boost nutrition, especially among women and children

Our Progress

  • 21,520+

    Producers using new technologies and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY20

  • $56M

    Annual agricultural sales generated by Guatemalan farms and firms reached by Feed the Future in FY20

  • 1,300+

    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY20

Our Work

Food security is a pressing concern in Guatemala, especially when it comes to children. Half of all children under 5 years old are chronically malnourished – making Guatemala the country with the worst level of malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere. The statistics are even more alarming in the Western Highlands of the country, where most of the population is Indigenous. Guatemala faces high levels of chronic malnutrition for many reasons, including the lack of economic resources and the knowledge to buy and consume foods that meet nutritional needs. Families also lack access to adequate health care and sanitation services. Feed the Future focuses its efforts in the Western Highlands, where chronic malnutrition among young children is over 62 percent. Feed the Future integrates agriculture and nutrition investments to enhance cognitive and physical development, increase economic productivity, strengthen resilience and advance global development.  For more information, please view the Nutrition Priority Countries.

Rust and Drought Resistant Coffee Seedlings

Guatemala’s coffee farmers have faced huge losses in production since the outbreak of coffee rust in 2012 and 2013. Feed the Future responded by: unlocking access to new rust-resistant coffee seedlings for farmers; training workers on pesticide application; and advising them on crop management, post-harvest handling and integrated pest management. As a result, the average coffee yield per hectare increased by 3.5 percent, from nearly 2,600 pounds in 2018 to nearly 2,700 pounds in 2020, which is above the national average yield of 2,100 pounds per hectare. Feed the Future not only helped coffee farmers increase both the sales and quality of their coffee beans but also created nearly 22,000 jobs in the coffee industry in 2020.

New Farming Techniques

Feed the Future trained over 21,000 horticulture and coffee farmers on good agricultural practices, pest management, improved seed varieties, irrigation and water harvesting. As a result, farmers are now using improved technologies and management practices on over 15,000 hectares of land. In addition, Feed the Future unlocked $5.6 million in loans that enabled smallholder farmers to implement new technologies and improve the quality of their products. These loans and training helped smallholder farmers increase their yields of avocados, onions and tomatoes by 15 percent, 23 percent and 25 percent, respectively, between 2019 and 2020.

Watershed Management

To sustain long-term agriculture-led growth in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, Feed the Future’s efforts include sustainable watershed management. Feed the Future developed 11 sustainable watershed management plans throughout six economic corridors in the Western Highlands covering over 168,000 hectares to support agriculture and nutrition activities by ensuring sustainable and efficient water use. As a result, more than 2,300 hectares were incorporated into the Guatemalan Forestry Incentives Program, which will ensure an additional income of at least $710,000 annually for individual smallholder farmers, communities and municipalities for a 10-year period. These communities can now reinvest this income in agriculture to continue improving the livelihoods of farmers. In addition, Feed the Future implemented agroforestry activities in coffee plots and reforestation in three micro watersheds prioritized by local actors. As a result, over 79,000 native, high-commercial value tree species were planted for the reforestation of 71.5 hectares of forest and covered 3,321 hectares of agroforestry systems (coffee with shade trees).

Source

These results reflect information from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Peace Corps, reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2020 (FY20). 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.

Our Activities

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

View all activities
  • 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
  • Health and Education Policy Project (HEP+)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Nexos Locales Local Governance Project
  • Peace Corps, Rural Extension Project
  • Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally 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

Related Resources

August 20, 2018

Feed the Future Country Plan for Guatemala

View website

July 14, 2015

Guatemala Feed the Future Baseline Report

View PDF

November 30, 2011

Guatemala Feed the Future FY2010 Implementation Plan

View PDF

Featured Story From Guatemala

Ensuring Essential Nutrients Amid COVID-19 Through Biofortified Maize

Many of my customers have lost their secondary jobs as drivers and small shop owners, and with it, their extra income, making them even more dependent on agricultural income and a good harvest this year,” Donis said. “Many of the farmers are interested in growing more maize this year. Even with the loss of secondary income, farmers can afford Fortaleza F3 seed and gain a better chance at improving their incomes.

Nelson Donis is a sales technician with Semilla Nueva, a Guatemalan social enterprise.

Learn more

View all stories from Guatemala

View All Stories