The end of the civil war in 1986 opened a new era in Guatemala's history. While the country is classified as a middle-income country, it still faces the challenge of eradicating poverty and achieving food security.
In that regard, a major challenge for the country is the degradation of natural resources and the vulnerability to climate change. Other ones are the highly unequal income distribution and the participatory inclusion of the ethnic diversity. To address the high incidence of poverty in the country, the Government of Guatemala and IFAD have joined forces and are working with indigenous peoples, youth and women to:
- promote a market-driven development of agricultural and non-agricultural rural businesses and microenterprises. This involves linking small-scale rural entrepreneurs with private-sector players along the value chains.
- develop social and human capital of the communities. This means building entrepreneurial capacities, especially among rural and indigenous women and young people; supporting the legal consolidation of smallholders associations, and giving rural population access to basic infrastructure.
- enhance pro-poor rural policy dialogue and sectoral planning. The target is to achieve enhanced country dialogue and sectoral planning and coordination at the national, departmental and municipal levels. A key issue in this regard is facilitating and promoting involvement of communities, particularly those that has been traditionally left behind, as is the case for indigenous people.
Since 1986, IFAD together with the Government of Guatemala have been investing in the agricultural sector. This partnership has fostered an inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. At the same time, over the years IFAD has established strategic alliances not only with farmers' organizations and the Government, but also with key private and second-level-producers associations like the Coffee Production Foundation for Rural Development (FUNCAFE), National Association for Coffee (ANACAFE) and the Guatemalan Exporters Association (AGEXPORT).