Demonstrating the Seeds for a Future Program in Rural Guatemala

“One family participating in the Seeds for a Future Program can lead to a whole community enjoying healthier and more prosperous lives.”

We’ve all heard the phrase about giving a person a fish vs. teaching that person to fish.

In times of emergency, food must be distributed to people in need, but in the long run, people need the skills and knowledge – plus experience and self-confidence – to provide for themselves and build successful lives.

The Seeds for a Future Program was started with a Vision to teach rural Guatemalan families the skills and knowledge required for their long-term success.

It addresses the food security, health, and income needs of a population with one of the highest chronic malnutrition and food insecurity rates in the world.

Our Vision keeps moving forward as the team incorporates new methods and practices to create self-reliance, healthier mothers and infants, and new micro-business opportunities.

Expanding the Seeds for a
Future Program

For more than 15 years, we’ve seen the lasting and sustainable results of our integrated Backyard Farm Program.

A photo of a program participant harvesting radishes in the garden.

In this Program, a team of local extensionists works directly with families and communities to provide training in how to grow their own food and animals while improving health and nutrition, and diversifying and increasing household incomes.

Extensionist Teams for New Locations

A key component of the program’s success is the team of thoroughly trained extensionists who provide coaching and mentoring to the families.

To expand the Backyard Farm Program to more villages, Seeds for a Future created a 7-month Extension Program.

In the Extension Program, new extension teams are created in new locations, with local partner organizations responsible for continuing the Backyard Farm Program after our training is completed. The Program has been proven to be adaptable in a wide range of climate conditions and cultural contexts.

A photo of a child with mushrooms grown by his parents.

Our ongoing Vision is to establish the integrated Backyard Farm Program as a way of life for generations to come throughout rural Guatemala and beyond.

The success and sustainability of our concepts and methods will result in many more thousands of rural families building better, healthier, and more productive lives.

Regional and National actions will quickly make the Seeds for a Future integrated Backyard Farm Program a standard method for rural citizens to build self-determined health and prosperity and create lasting community development.

~ Regional Agricultural Learning Center in Chocolá, with scholarships for limited-resource students, teaching these key concepts:

  • The integrated Backyard Farm program
  • More productive farming techniques for small-holder farmers
  • Sustainable agriculture and agroforestry
  • Environmental protection

~ National Backyard Farm Extension/Outreach Service, based on the Extension Program we have already field-tested and proven.  Training of new extensionists from throughout Guatemala at the Regional Agricultural Learning Center would greatly accelerate the development of the National Extension/Outreach Service.

To achieve these objectives, a major partner is required. If you have resources along these lines, please contact us.

                  The INCAP Research Study

Because of the unique approach of the Seeds for a Future Program, during 2014 – 2017, an internationally-funded research study by the Institute for Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) scientifically documented the success of the Seeds for a Future’s program.

“In conclusion, this study provides evidence that an integrated approach involving health, nutrition, and agriculture with a duration of at least twelve months of follow-up may have a significant positive impact on nutrition outcomes, especially in hemoglobin and iron status biomarkers, of mothers and children under five years of age in rural populations.”

Follow-up interviews showed an extraordinary level of sustainability – more than 80% of study participants reported they continued one or more actions they had learned from the Seeds for a Future program.

Download the Incap Study here.

To learn more about the Program, download the Program in Detail PDF

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