Small-Scale Farmers in Guatemala to Benefit From Climate Fund

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hilda Coronad trains agricultural promoters at an eco-agricultural training center in Comitancillo, Guatemala. The center is sponsored by the Maya Mam Association for Investigation and Development (AMMID).
AMMID’s work is supported by Presbyterian World Service & Development, through Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Photo: Paul Jeffrey

April 22 is Earth Day, a day to thank God for the gift of this earth.

Earth Day is also a time when Canadian Foodgrains Bank supporters can show their support for poor people in the developing world who are facing challenges due to a changing climate—changes that threaten their livelihoods and their very lives.

This Earth Day, Canadian Foodgrains Bank is pleased to announce that a project supporting farm families in Guatemala will be the beneficiary of donations to the Climate Fund in 2017-18.

The project is supported through Foodgrains Bank member Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D).

The Foodgrains Bank Climate Fund allows Canadians to acknowledge their personal contributions to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change—things like travel, heating, and electricity—and then to make a contribution to help small-scale farmers in the developing world adapt to the changes they are already experiencing.

A different Foodgrains Bank-supported project is chosen every year to receive these funds.

“We’re excited to give Canadians this opportunity to help farmers in Guatemala whose lives are directly impacted by climate change,” says Stephanie McDonald, a Foodgrains Bank senior policy advisor.

Most people who are hungry in the world are small-scale farmers. They are also those most-affected by a changing climate. For example, small-scale farmers are experiencing more extreme weather—including droughts, floods and hurricanes—than ever before.

In this year’s project in San Marcos, Guatemala, 95 percent of families survive on less than two dollars a day, and farm on an average of only .35 acres of land. They struggle to grow enough food on their land to adequately provide for their families at the best of times. Changing weather patterns mean they struggle to know when to plant in order to take advantage of rainfall, or may risk having their crop wiped out from drought.

Through the project, they are being trained in such things as farming techniques that help conserve moisture in the soil, using native seeds that are well-suited to variable conditions, and soil conservation techniques.

Since 2013, donations to the Climate Fund have supported over 28,000 farmers in Zimbabwe, Kenya, India, and Haiti.

Learn more about the Climate Fund or make a donation.

–Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator