One of the biggest problems for our farmers around the world is how to keep young farmers interested and engaged? With few other opportunities in their rural areas, young people basically have a choice of farming or leaving. We are working with our partner in Guatemala ASOBAGRI to change that.
ASOBAGRI’s Young Farmer program offers business management, computer skills, new farming techniques and help starting businesses that supply materials, organic fertilizers and more to the farmers of Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
We helped design and implement a new aspect to the project this year – growing and planting fruit trees for reforestation to counter a warming planet (a big issue in the coffeelands) and to provide alternative crops for the table and for sale locally. In another year we will institute a “value-added” component, so that the young farmers can turn part of their tree crops into dried fruit, jams and other products for sale locally and internationally. A similar project with farmers in Peru has resulted in sales of container loads of marmalade to France, a big diversification win for the farmers.
Giving young farmers a sense that there is a future on the farm and the means to make that happen is one of the highest priorities of our partners at ASOBAGRI. As always, we are right there to help them manifest their dreams.