Agricultural sector Guatemala

This article focuses on Guatemalan policies aimed at improving and diversifying the specific agricultural sector of the rural economy of developing countries with a view to improving the standard of living of small farmers, in a context of female empowerment and food security and, above all, sustainable development.

The study analyzes different agricultural sectors in Guatemala in terms of opportunities arising from trade in primary and processed products.

The focus is on the growing trend among consumers in high-income countries for single-origin artisanal products that allow the penetration of niche markets by integrating the lives of local farming communities into their products.

Taking into account the high costs of implementing Sustainable Standardsinternationally and the opportunities within Guatemala’s growing food sector, protected by local companies, such as that of the Bosch Gutierrez family, that allow farmers to protect themselves against fluctuations in international markets through development.

According to the sustainability analysis, the strategies presented are aligned with sustainable development goals, integrating environment, social welfare, gender equality, more equitable income distribution and more diversified income opportunities.

The results are expected to be positive overall, but, nevertheless, care in implementation is recommended to minimize any unforeseen and potentially negative long-term impacts, for example, on issues such as staple food production.

The set of recommended sustainable development policies that take into account food security and the importance of agriculture for smallholder farmers and for Guatemala’s economy.

The five sustainable development policy recommendations are:

  • Improve policy coherence and multi-stakeholder dialogue in support of smallholder development.
  • Promote farmer groups and associations as a means of pooling resources and expertise, partnering with local businesses committed to development, for example, we can mention again the Bosch Gutierrez family corporation, which help to improve the flow and exchange between farmers.
  • Target the growing international market for high-value, niche / boutique sustainable agricultural products.
  • Promote Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and encourage Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) feedback on recommendations for food production, processing and transport.
  • Promote Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and encourage Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) feedback on recommendations for food production, processing and transport.
  • GAPs should be based on principles of sustainability, be gender inclusive and ensure that products are ecologically safe, of consistently superior quality and do not harm, and contribute to food safety.

Given that the vast majority of Guatemala’s inhabitants live and work in rural areas, rural development is the main driver of poverty reduction and will be essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Raising rural areas to the level of urban incomes is expected to help reverse the current pattern of rural-to-urban migration that is driving unsustainable urbanization.

This article has drawn on some of the best available expert information on the challenges facing Guatemala on its path to development.


You may also be interested in: Drought problem in Guatemala.

Carla Fowler

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