San José, Aug 26 – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) highlighted this Friday the importance of a joint plan with the United States and the European Union that aims to economically empower women in Guatemala.

IICA explained in a press release that the proposal seeks to strengthen rural women who are dedicated to agriculture, with the aim of better addressing climate impacts on agriculture and their livelihoods.

“The great challenge is to expand the possibilities of rural women to make the most of their potential, while improving their quality of life and that of society,” commented the IICA representative in Guatemala, María Febres.

The strategic alliance between the organizations takes into account the role that women play in agriculture so that they can go beyond subsistence production and move towards more value-added and market-oriented production, officials said.

The initiative is developed through the plan for Agroforestry Systems Adapted to the Central American Dry Corridor (Agroinnova), implemented by IICA with the support and financing of the European Union and the project Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise (Power, in English) of the Department of US state

This month began the capacity building process aimed at 50 rural women and youth from the municipalities of San Jerónimo (Baja Verapaz) and Chiquimula (Chiquimula). The event provided the participants with tools that aim to help them be more competitive, better manage cooperatives and achieve better income.

Febres, the representative of the US State Department, Andrea Muñoz, and the head of the National Coffee Association, Carlos Chun, participated in the opening ceremony, emphasizing the strategic importance of the participation of women and young people as drivers of community production and development processes with more innovation and technology.

For the authorities, rural peasant women are an agent of change for the improvement and sustainability of agri-food systems. For this reason, improving the conditions of rural women contributes to the elimination of gaps, a priority for the Central American Dry Corridor region.

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