Building Market Linkages to Create Opportunities to Stay
Agricultural Development to Provide an Alternative to Immigration
Over the past year, we have been researching potential agricultural projects in Guatemala and we began by implementing, through our model, the Demonstrative Plots project in the Western Highlands of the country in hopes of offering economic security as a solution for farmers resorting to immigration to the US. Strong market connections enable farmers to stay in their homeland.
Roots of Peace is seeking for funding for a $250,000 two-year grant, to expand on our successful Demo Plots Project.
This initiative will support 220 farmers to install irrigation systems and create a 2nd crop cycle per year. This will improve their income up to $9,000 per hectare while still maintaining their food security crops.
The Western Highlands of Guatemala, of which the departments of Quiché, Huehuetenango and San Marcos are part, has historically suffered from a terrible crisis of poverty and consequently the migration of vulnerable populations to the United States in search of a better future.
Overpopulation, small farm sizes (1/3 acre is the average farm size) and inefficient value chains lead to insufficient job opportunities. This causes families to struggle to meet economic needs for a decent life in Guatemala. Many of these families choose immigration to the US to solve this problem.
Install Efficient Irrigation Systems to Allow Double Harvest of High-Value Crops
ROP conducted a net income analysis to identify which crops are most profitable. Furthermore, ROP identified the installation of irrigation systems allow for a 2nd crop cycle which effectively doubles production. In 2021, ROP established demonstration plots to serve as a model to train farmers and show the advantages and opportunities provided by ROP methodology. These demos are achieving outstanding results and are generating significant interest in target communities. ROP has supported farmers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala with soil analysis, farm inputs, training, and ongoing technical assistance to improve their income from their agricultural production. The initiative has been successful and has had a great impact on the perception of the farmers’ neighbors, who are willing up to implement their own plot with the ROP methodology.
Our methodology significantly improves farmer’s income. In addition to producing a high-value crop, they were able to harvest a second crop. Prior to the intervention, the farmer was only able to produce corn, which was mostly for consumption.
ROP has delivered more efficient irrigation systems that are adapted to the needs of the crop and the conditions of the land to maximize production.
Convert Coffee Farms to an Agroforestry Model that Increases Income through Productive Shade Trees
There is big opportunity in coffee farmers (15-20% of the total farmer population in the Western Highlands) to replace non-productive shade trees using income generating trees suitable for the ecosystem such as allspice, avocado or macadamia trees. This agroforestry model provide a second income for the farmers while allowing them to continue production of their mature coffee orchards.
With this method Roots of Peace will double the farmer’s income, promote the diversification of sustainable crops, and improve the resilience of agricultural systems to reduce the impact of climate change.
“This is my north, here I can improve my income to help my family, thanks to the support of Roots of Peace”. Farmer Ramón Lopez, referring to the fact that now he has no need to migrate to U.S.A. to have a decent life.
DEMONSTRATION PLOTS OF HIGH-VALUE CROPS SUCH AS ONIONS AND INTERCROP COFFEE WITH AVOCADO
INCREASE YIELD FOR ONION PRODUCTION COMPARED TO CONVENTIONAL PRACTICES
INCOME; MOVING FROM TRADITIONAL CROPS TO HIGH VALUE CROPS, ENABLING A SECOND HARVEST CYCLE IN A YEAR
TREES PLANTED TO DIVERSIFY INCOME ON COFFEE PLOTS WITH PRODUCTIVE SHADE TREES
INCOME OF COFFEE FARMERS WHILE PROMOTING DIVERSIFICATION OF SUSTAINABLE CROPS
OF OUR FARMERS ARE PLANNING TO REINVEST TO DOUBLE THEIR PRODUCTION AREA
DIRECT AND INDIRECT BENEFICIARIES IN THE FIRST PHASE OF THE PROJECT
SQUARE METERS OF FARMLAND WAS PLANTED WITH HIGH-VALUE CROPS