13 May 2021
AGRICULTURAL PROMOTION IN GUATEMALA WITH EU FUNDS
The activities envisaged by the EU Project “Budgetary Support for the Family Agriculture Program for the Strengthening of the Peasant Economy (AP-PAFFEC)” in Guatemala will continue until October 2021. Since November 2018, AGT International is implementing, as partner of the consortium, the project aiming at “reducing poverty in selected rural areas in 22 municipalities of Quiche and Alta Verapaz of the central-North region of Guatemala.” Sara De Vito is the Project Manager responsible for this project in AGT.
The AP-PAFFEC is mainly an agricultural extension project, constantly implementing an informal educational process addressing the rural population. A continuous process of transmitting agricultural knowledge and practices determined to improve the efficiency of farms, while increasing agricultural production and improving the livelihoods of rural families, thus fighting poverty and promoting food education.
The EU investment of over 2.8 million euros in favor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA) supports actions towards the promotion of family farming and the peasant economy. The AP-PAFFEC Program improves the livelihoods of disadvantaged rural families, by promoting the development of their production systems and contributing to reducing their vulnerability to climate change effects. The project adopts a territorial approach, coupled with the application of sustainable agricultural practices and the integration of cross-cutting issues.
The institutional capacity of MAGA on the management of the PAFFEC focuses on three key areas: i) contributing to the establishment of a Monitoring and Evaluation System for PAFFEC’s performance; ii) improving the effectiveness of the Rural Extension System at decentralized level; iii) strengthening institutional capacities in Public Finance Management and in Results Based Management.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the political crisis in the country, natural events, as well as changes in the TA team itself, the work and support carried out by the PAFFEC TA team between July and December 2020 required some changes in its implementation, compared to the process carried out in the previous months. Despite the difficulties, TA activities progressed at the same pace, and, due to travel restrictions caused the Covid-19 pandemic, smart-working was promoted and implemented.
In fact, since September 2020 the rules imposed by the pandemic (curfew and quarantine, restrictions for face-to-face meetings, and physical and social distancing) created the need to use remote means of communication for day-to-day work. Although coordination processes could have become more laborious, this situation represented an opportunity to adapt to a different working modality while ensuring the smooth progress of activities without delays in their implementation.