ARLINGTON, VA., Oct. 8, 2021 — With generous support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Counterpart International announces a two-year extension of it Food for Progress project in Guatemala.

Through the project extension, Counterpart will partner with the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA), Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Guatemala (MICOOPE), Asociación Nacional del Café (Anacafé), the National University of San Carlos, and the University of California at Davis to increase sustainable agricultural techniques in rural communities, increase production, and improve livelihoods of indigenous rural farmers. Local partners include farmers from all levels of the supply chain, from CADERs (small, informal networks of farmer/neighbors) to associations (from small, regional associations to national associations) to cooperatives across agricultural sectors.

During the extension through September 2023, Counterpart and its partner organizations will:

  • Build on lessons learned and promote a more holistic approach to engage partners, farmers, and local organizations to support long-term sustainability and scale economic impact.
  • Deliver strategic training to build the capacity of MAGA to manage the National Rural Extension System to expand agricultural production and trade.
  • Strengthen the skills and develop the capacities of coffee and other agricultural producer groups.
  • Increase market access and address food security challenges.

“Since 2016, Counterpart’s Food for Progress project has supported the Government of Guatemala, local organizations, and farmers to modernize and strengthen the agriculture sector,” said Brian Dotson, Director of Food Security.  “This $9.5M, two-year extension, will ensure long-term impact by delivering permanent, scalable solutions to improve livelihoods and build more resilient communities.”

The project is led by Maria Esther Bucaro, Chief of Party. Ms. Bucaro has managed the Food for Progress project in Guatemala for more than six years. She has extensive experience in agricultural and food security programs and is well-respected by in-country and United States government partners as a seasoned leader.  Ms. Bucaro is one of the first women to lead an agricultural program in Guatemala, working directly with high-ranking public officials and local and international universities to implement the rural extension system in the country.

About Counterpart International
For over 55 years, Counterpart International has forged partnerships with communities and local organizations to build inclusive, sustainable communities in which people thrive. Our current project portfolio is focused on education, food security and agricultural development, effective governance, institutional strengthening, and economic development.

For more information, please visit counterpart.org.

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