The proposed Global Grant for Guatemalan farmers will support local partner organizations in producing and selling a high yielding, more nutritious corn seed to local farmers, and in doing so, will sustainably develop the incomes of thousands of Guatemalan farmers, as well as improve the diets of families in the sixth-most malnourished country in the world.
This project will address Guatemala's most pressing barrier to development: rural poverty. Guatemala is one of the most populous countries in Central America with a GDP per capita roughly half the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. Moreover, more than half the population is below the national poverty line, and 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Unfortunately, corn farmers are among the most affected by rural poverty but struggle to find a way to improve their income. While corn is the basis of the diet and one of the highest yielding crops to grow, it is also one of the cheapest crops to sell: making profit margins slim.
Guatemala's poorest populations are dependent on corn as a dietary staple, often accounting for over 50% of daily caloric intake. Corn's low levels of nutrients leads nearly half (49.8%) of Guatemalan children to suffer from chronic malnutrition, trapping them in poverty and illness. Inadequate diets early in life have long-term and permanent consequences for children both physically and cognitively. Research shows that chronically malnourished children spend less time in school, earn 20% lower incomes later in life and are more susceptible to illness.
Solution: Working with partner organization Semilla Nueva in a Global Grant in 2016-8, we developed a solution that can address both poverty and malnutrition: low cost, high yielding, and more nutritious corn seeds. In our previous Global Grant, we assisted Semilla Nueva in producing and selling 1,058 bags of these seeds to over 800 farmers. Our goal for this project is to help Semilla Nueva and two local farming cooperatives expand sales to 8,933 families by 2020—improving farmer incomes by over $500,000 over the two years of the project. This project will be sustainable by helping our three partner organizations reinvest their seed sales revenue into a rotating fund to produce more seed in following years.
This project is different because it produces a product which will increase local farmer incomes, and uses economic incentives to help local partners scale the service to thousands of farmers over the course of two years. It is based on a sales pilot done in a previous Rotary Global Grant which was successful and has already reached nearly 1000 families.
For more information please contact John Lodal firstname.lastname@example.org