Skip to Content
A Guatemalan farmer harvesting maize from a participatory plant breeding plot.
Map of Guatemala

Feed the Future works in the regions of Totonicapán, San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango and Quiché.

Feed The Future Impact

  • 29%
    Estimated reduction in the prevalence of poverty in the areas where Feed the Future has worked from 2013-2015
  • 10.2%
    Estimated reduction in the prevalence of stunting in children under the age of 5 in the areas where Feed the Future has worked from 2013-2015

Value Chains

  • Coffee
  • Horticulture
  • Avocado
See more regional stats
  • 1.7M

    Number of people living in Feed the Future target regions in Guatemala (FTF ZOI Survey, 2015)

  • 3.8%

    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 9.4 percent of added value (World Bank, 2019)

  • 49%

    Percentage of population living in rural Guatemala (World Bank, 2019)

  • 60.6%

    Percentage of stunted children under the age of 5 living in Feed the Future target regions in Guatemala (FTF ZOI Survey, 2015)

  • 4.2%

    Percentage of people living in poverty in Feed the Future target regions in 2015 (FTF ZOI Survey, 2015)

Our Strategy


Strengthen market-led agricultural development


Prevent and treat chronic malnutrition


Improve access to food and health services


Boost nutrition, especially among women and children

Our Progress

  • 33,000

    Producers using new technologies and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY19

  • $52.2M

    Annual agricultural sales generated by Guatemalan farms and firms reached by Feed the Future in FY19

  • 174,000

    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY19

Our Work

Food security is a pressing concern in Guatemala, especially when it comes to children. Half of all children under 5 years old are chronically malnourished – the worst level of malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere. The statistics are even more alarming in the Western Highlands of the country, where most of the population is indigenous. Guatemala faces high levels of chronic malnutrition for many reasons, including the lack of economic resources and knowledge to buy and consume foods that meet nutritional needs. Families also lack access to adequate healthcare and sanitation services. Feed the Future focuses its efforts in the Western Highlands, where chronic malnutrition among young children is over 62 percent.

Rust-Resistant Coffee Seedlings

Guatemala’s coffee farmers have faced huge losses in production since the outbreak of coffee rust in 2012 and 2013. Feed the Future responded by unlocking access to new rust-resistant coffee-seedlings for farmers, training workers on pesticide application and advising them on crop management, post-harvest handling and integrated pest management. As a result, the average coffee yield per hectare increased by 3.5 percent, from 2,582 pounds (2018) to 2,674 pounds (2019), which is above the national average yield of 2,100 pounds per hectare. Feed the Future not only helped coffee farmers increase both the sales and quality of their coffee beans but also created over 12,400 jobs in the coffee industry in 2019.

New Farming Techniques

Feed the Future trained over 17,000 horticulture and coffee farmers on good agricultural practices, pest management, improved seed varieties, irrigation and water harvesting. As a result, farmers are now using improved technologies and management practices on nearly 8,500 hectares of land. In addition, Feed the Future unlocked $2.4 million in loans that enabled smallholder farmers to implement new technologies and improve the quality of their products. These loans and training helped smallholder farmers increase their yields of avocados, onions and tomatoes by 15 percent, 20 percent and 21 percent, respectively, between 2018 and 2019.

Watershed Management

To sustain long-term agriculture-led growth in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, Feed the Future’s efforts include sustainable watershed management. In 2019, Feed the Future and Rafael Landivar University developed 11 sustainable watershed management plans in the Western Highlands, covering over 168,000 hectares, to further develop efficient agriculture and nutrition activities. These plans aim to restore and conserve forests in communities where important watersheds are located and where Feed the Future promotes sustainable agriculture. As a result, more than 2,300 hectares were incorporated into the Guatemalan Forestry Incentives Program, which will ensure an additional income of at least $710,000 annually for individual smallholder farmers, communities and municipalities for a ten-year period. These communities can now reinvest this income in agriculture to continue improving the livelihoods of farmers.


These results reflect information from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Peace Corps, reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2019 (FY19). For more information on the indicators above, please view our Feed the Future Indicator Handbook. All dollar amounts are listed in U.S. dollars.

*The change in prevalence of poverty or stunting for this country was not statistically significant, meaning the margin of error of the survey sample was too great to conclusively demonstrate change. For more details on impact data, view the Feed the Future 2018 progress snapshot.

Our Activities

Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Guatemala.

View all activities
  • Central America Agribusiness and Logistics Regional Program
  • Feed the Future Guatemala Coffee Value Chains Project
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Grain Legumes (MasFrijol)
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture (MasRiego and Semillas de Esperanza)
  • Feed the Future Innovative Solutions for Agricultural Value Chains Project
  • Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation
  • Health and Education Policy Plus
  • International Food Policy Research Institute
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (Buena Milpa)
  • National Maternal and Child Health Survey
  • Nexos Locales Local Governance Project
  • Peace Corps
  • Rural Value Chains Project
  • Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally Project
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program
  • USDA Support for Sanitary and Phytosanitary and Other Agriculture-Related Capacity Building to Promote Food Security and Trade Integration

Related Resources

August 20, 2018

Feed the Future Country Plan for Guatemala

View Website

July 14, 2015

Guatemala Feed the Future Baseline Report

View PDF

November 30, 2011

Guatemala Feed the Future FY2010 Implementation Plan

View PDF
More Resources

Featured Story From Guatemala

Ensuring Essential Nutrients Amid COVID-19 Through Biofortified Maize

Many of my customers have lost their secondary jobs as drivers and small shop owners, and with it, their extra income, making them even more dependent on agricultural income and a good harvest this year,” Donis said. “Many of the farmers are interested in growing more maize this year. Even with the loss of secondary income, farmers can afford Fortaleza F3 seed and gain a better chance at improving their incomes.

Nelson Donis is a sales technician with Semilla Nueva, a Guatemalan social enterprise.

Learn More

View all stories from Guatemala

View All Stories