ABOUT THE PROJECT
Grow Ahead teamed up with Food 4 Farmers and Maya Ixil, a cooperative of 200 small-scale indigenous coffee farmers in the Ixil Triangle, a grouping of communities in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala. The project worked with 200 members of this Indigenous cooperative to establish trees and plants on their family farms that will serve as coffee shade trees and food for bees, while supporting organic food production and more biodiverse farms.
In 2015, Food 4 Farmers and Maya Ixil established a beekeeping program to generate income for families, promote environmental resiliency and contribute to food security goals. This project will help Maya Ixil beekeepers and other members use agroecological practices to establish and sustain agroforestry systems on their coffee farms, grow food for their families, sell or trade excess crops from their farms, save seeds, improve soil nutrition, reduce erosion, and conserve water.
Planting 42,4000 trees and cover-crops on 200 farms will reduce food insecurity, improve the environment and support bees and farmers! Honey bees consume nectar from certain fruit trees, whose availability will increase consumption of fruits among families. The project supported tree planting, establishing composting and erosion mitigation for each farm, providing food security education, and tree management training and support.