The Rural Extension Project, part of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, and implemented by Peace Corps, increases food security among rural households in Guatemala through the strengthening of national rural extension services.
The project supports the Government of Guatemala to meet the challenges of inclusive food production in rural areas through strengthening the Ministry of Agriculture's national extension system implementation goals.
GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS AND DEMOGRAPHIC APPROACH
Peace Corps volunteers' support focuses on capacity building for municipal extension agents and community promoters at a local level on methodologies for inclusive (in relation to gender, socio economic status and culture) planning, organization, management, and effective delivery of rural extension services.
CONTEXT AND CHALLENGES
Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America; however, it is also one of the most unequal countries in the world. Poverty is more extreme in rural areas as income is below average. In Guatemala, one in two children suffer from chronic malnutrition, this being the highest national level of chronic malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere and one of the highest in the world. While numerous challenges exist, there are significant opportunities to increase the production rates and nutritional status of rural households in Guatemala.
Government of Guatemala efforts are focusing to rebuild a once very prominent rural extension system to provide education and technical assistance for rural farmers; however, best practices and knowledge have been lost in the agriculture extension program. Additionally, current extension agents typically have expertise on the technical-subject matter for their position, but often lack formal training on the inclusive extension methodologies necessary to effectively transfer knowledge. Since 2014, Peace Corps/Guatemala has received requests for volunteers from the Ministry of Agriculture, to support agriculture training, rural extension methods and practices, and technical assistance for community promoters leading community groups in collaboration with municipal extension agents.
- Strengthen capacity of extension agents in inclusive planning, organization, management, and delivery of rural extension services.
- Strengthen capacity of community promoters in inclusive planning, organization, management, and delivery of rural extension services.
This project is expected to run from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2024 with an estimated total USAID investment of $667,000.
USAID’s implementer for this project is Peace Corps.