Food Sovereignty for Guatemala A girl poses in front of a food shop in the Ixil region of Guatemala
Update from The Coffee Trust
offee is grown on some of the worldâ€™s richest lands, yet most coffee farmers cannot properly feed their families. Before relying on cash from coffee, families grew their own food on the same land. Their ancient knowledge of agriculture and how to grow and prepare nutritious foods was passed down from generation to generation. However, the lure of cash for coffee drew families away from their traditional lifestyles and that knowledge was lost. Farmers have since become dependent upon coffee and other cash crops for all their needs. The Coffee Trust, a nonprofit organization that helps coffee farmers overcome poverty, has a Food Sovereignty Project in the Ixil region of Guatemala that focuses on reintroducing the ancient agricultural skills farmers have lost. The project trains women to take ownership over their own food production and be liberated from their reliance on cash from coffee for food. Families in the program learn to plant and maintain gardens, prepare nutritious foods, raise hens for eggs, produce compost, use medic-
The project trains women to take ownership over their own food production and be liberated from their reliance on cash from coffee for food. inal plants, and apply effective microorganisms (probiotics for plants) to improve soil and crop health. Participants also learn to build efficient stoves to prevent smoke inhalation from in-home, open-fire cook stoves, which cause respiratory illnesses. They also learn to use water filters to reduce easily preventable water-borne disease. ...continued page 66 23
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