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"Yo Me Adapto" (I Adapt) - Improving Food Security and Resilience through Agricultural Disaster Risk Reduction Programs in Guatemala

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Guatemala’s Dry Corridor has been deeply impacted by the effects of climate change. Cyclical droughts are causing food insecurity and affecting livelihoods in the region. Families struggle to produce enough food to meet basic needs. Losses of staple crops are as high as 100 percent in some regions.

With support from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is implementing a project to improve food security and increase the resilience of 1,500 vulnerable farming families (approximately 9,000 people) in the municipalities of Sansare and Sanarate in Guatemala’s El Progreso department.

The project promotes climate-smart agricultural techniques and technologies through Guatemala’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA) and the existing National Rural Extension System (SNER).

Based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s successful Cooperative Extension System (CES), the project will provide farmers with agricultural techniques and cost-effective technologies to improve productivity. Information will be disseminated through Rural Development Learning Centers (CADERs), where PADF and MAGA technicians impart training via demonstration farms.

Using a farmer-to-farmer approach, PADF and partners will expand the network of CADERs. The goal is to deliver knowledge and practical support for improved, climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies.

The initiative utilizes a farmer-to-farmer approach to:

• Strengthen the capacity of vulnerable farming families to cope with cyclical drought

• Prepare vulnerable populations for a drier and warmer climate through adaptive agriculture practices

• Promote sustainable agricultural livelihoods through asset-building and action plan development to impove food production and food security