The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today opted for a family agriculture "sensitive to nutrition" as a key piece to fight malnutrition in Guatemala, a scourge that affects almost half of children under 5 years.
With the aim of highlighting the contribution of family farming to fight against malnutrition, a forum was held in the Guatemalan capital on Wednesday between government authorities, Congress and civil society.
"A high percentage of the food that comes to the Guatemalan table is produced by family farmers, so this sector becomes a key element for food and nutrition security and to reduce the rates of chronic malnutrition," said the representative. of the FAO in Guatemala, Diego Recalde.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO estimates that between 50 and 80 percent of the food consumed by urban and rural populations are produced by family farming.
In Guatemala, six out of ten people live in rural areas and most of them work in agriculture.
But although this sector of the population produces food, paradoxically they suffer the most from hunger and malnutrition.
"The prevention of chronic malnutrition and the actions of the '1,000 Days window' are often associated with the health sector, however, the evidence generated in recent years underscores the need to address malnutrition with a multisectoral approach" , assured the policy officer of the Program "Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation of Food and Nutrition Security", José Valls.
That is why he opted to carry out indirect actions from different sectors that accompany the specific interventions of the health sector.
Adequate nutrition is the general objective of the main public policies related to food and nutrition security in Guatemala, as is the case of the Family Farming Program for the Strengthening of the Peasant Economy (PAFFEC), supported by FAO and the European Union (EU).
This seeks to guarantee food production and boost local economies by strengthening the productive capacities of rural families.
"The European Union is strongly committed to the sector of food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture in five countries in Latin America," said EU Ambassador to Guatemala Stefano Gatto.
This Wednesday, the Decade of Family Farming was also presented, an activity that will take place from January 2019 to December 2028 to focus efforts on strengthening the food and nutrition security of the rural population, mostly dedicated to agricultural activities , fisheries or forestry.
The FAO points out that more than 90 percent of the 570 million farms in the world are managed by an individual or a family and depend mainly on family labor.
Therefore, during the ten years, the importance of the investment of policies in this regard, the guarantee of natural resources, the improvement of inclusive markets or the adaptation of climate change will be highlighted.