Guatemala - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

Our Mission in Guatemala

For more than 30 years, we have been dedicated to our work in Guatemala, together with diverse partners, collaborators and donors. Over this time, we have built a strong research agenda that addresses the challenges of climate change in the country, supporting the creation of more equitable and inclusive value chains, promoting ecosystem restoration, and designing sustainable production systems.

In the past decade, we have achieved a remarkable mobilization of resources, adding up to more than $9 million USD, invested in projects that have significantly strengthened and supported the Guatemalan agricultural sector.

We officially inaugurated our office in Guatemala in 2019, marking our ongoing active presence in the country, which includes the work of researchers who steadily implement our objectives and contribute to Guatemala's sustainable development.

Challenges 

In Guatemala, we aim to address the following challenges through our work.

  • Transforming food systems

Climate variability threatens farmers' food security and livelihoods, as well as the country's entire food system. We carry out comprehensive analyses to assess the economic and social impacts of climate change on food security, and identify the regions, crops and communities most affected. Based on these analyses, we work to eliminate hunger, improve nutrition and ensure the inclusion and socioeconomic development of the country's rural sector.

  • Improving crops for food security

We are committed to generating and developing agricultural knowledge and technologies to contribute to solving the problem of chronic malnutrition in Guatemala. We build capacity for the dissemination of improved varieties of crops such as beans, as well as the selection of new varieties with better tolerance to the impacts of climate change. We also seek to select and disseminate low-carbon crop technologies and promote the exchange of knowledge.

  • Strengthened value chains

We design strategies and innovations focused on the inclusion of small producers, and reduce rural poverty through better positioning in value chains and inclusive business models using our LINK Methodology. We also support sustainable value chains through climate risk mapping and the development of sustainable agriculture strategies in livestock, coffee, cacao, and other crops for local consumption.

 

  • Addressing the challenges of climate change

Forming part of Central America’s Dry Corridor, Guatemala's agricultural sector is highly sensitive to climate variability. Through our research, we contribute to understanding the effects of climate change on the production and productivity of key crops in the country, using this information to guide decision-makers in identifying, designing and implementing adaptation measures to address these impacts and minimize vulnerability.

Thematic Research Areas

  • Climate change action and food security
  • Sustainable food systems
  • Crop improvement
  • Biotechnology
  • Inclusion in agriculture

Impact

  • Supporting the eradication of malnutrition

Through our research and biofortification program, the Alliance has helped combat malnutrition in Guatemala by developing, distributing and promoting biofortified crops rich in micronutrients such as iron (beans), zinc (rice and corn) and vitamin A (cassava and sweet potato). The ICTA Petén bean variety, released in Guatemala in 2010, was part of the first group of biofortified crops in the world, and is now consumed by many people in the country.

Since 2017, with the donation of biofortified sedes, our Basic Grains program has supported MAGA to produce certified seed and distribute them through the ‘Seeds for All’ program. Furthermore, with our School Snack Menu project we evaluate and include underutilized and/or forgotten species to support the conservation of nutritional ingredients of the traditional Guatemalan diet.

  • Digital agriculture

The Alliance has been supporting and strengthening capacities in data analysis for agriculture, in coordination with local institutions. Central America has been one of the regions where processes for the development of digital agriculture with data-driven decision-making has been promoted the most. Due to its high vulnerability to climate variability, we continue to research measures, tools and strategies to facilitate climate adaptation and resilience in this region.

  •  Women in the agricultural sector

We have analyzed gender inclusion in sustainable agriculture initiatives and supported the country's leadership in regional dialogues within the framework of the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy Adapted to Climate for the SICA (Central American Integration System) region. We also work with partners to strengthen the participation of rural women and Young people in inclusive value chains. We research the role of gender in household decision-making and nutrition, and have measured the impact of biofortified bean consumption on the health of rural adolescent women.

Projects and Flagship Initiatives

To address the challenges we seek to resolve in Guatemala and achieve positive impact through our work, we undertake several projects in different parts of the country. 

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Leadership

Our office in Guatemala

c/o Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA) 
7° Avenida 14-44, Zona 9, Edif. La Galería, cuarto piso, oficina 402 
Guatemala, Guatemala C.A. 
Phone: (+502) 2386-5902 
Email: Carlos Navarro (c.e.navarro@cgiar.org)

Talk To Us

Would you like to reach out to our team of scientists working in Guatemala?

CONTACT US HERE