Half of the population of Guatemala is engaged in agriculture. Still, the population faces a high degree of food insecurity accompanied by chronic malnutrition. A major factor of this is climate change as it exacerbates the ineffective production of key staple grains, such as black beans and maize.
The good news is that there are low-cost, highly nutritious and drought-tolerant crops in Guatemala that are yet to be leveraged. One of these crops is chaya, a native leafy vegetable that is an economical source of food of high nutritional value. Another interesting one is the tepary bean, capable of producing extraordinary yields under stress conditions, under which the black bean is completely unproductive. The traits in these crops can help address some of the climate change related problems that affect food security, and the Bioversity International-IFAD initiative “Linking Agrobiodiversity Value Chains, Climate Adaptation and Nutrition: Empowering the Poor to Manage Risks” is thus committed to promoting the production and consumption of these crops in their home country of Guatemala.