Going Green

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Norman Borlaug Institute in Guatemala

Agriculture in the Developing World.

Sept. 27, 2007

U.S. Agriculture Secretary: Guatemala Project Shows Borlaug’s ‘Feed the World’ Vision

Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-467-6575,paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Johanna Roman, 979-862-2036,mjroman@ag.tamu.edu
Edwin Price, 979-862-4551,ec-price@tamu.edu

GUATEMALA CITY – The Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, part of the Texas A&M University System, will expand the efforts of its Food for Progress project in Guatemala beginning Oct. 1.

The project was initiated two years ago to help improve the quality of life for Guatemalan farmers, said Johanna Roman, coordinator for Latin American programs at the institute.

"Until now, our project activities primarily have involved working with local partners to provide farmers with technical assistance related to food processing, as well as education and training toward improving their agricultural techniques," she said.

This new project phase will continue farmer education, but its main emphasis will be on strengthening agricultural cooperatives and developing agribusiness opportunities for small-scale farmers in Guatemala, Roman said.

"Project participants now will work more directly with the private and public sector to process, package and market Guatemalan products for export to the U.S. and other countries," she said. "We'll also be helping with export certification and assisting with developing agribusinesses related to bioenergy, as well as providing marketing and business support to those who want to improve their agriculture-related businesses."

To date, more than 2,500 Guatemalan farmers have benefitted from the program, the majority belonging to indigenous populations, Roman said. The project has been targeted mainly at small- and medium-scale farmers in the...(complete story here).

Dr. Norman Borlaug came to Texas A&M in 1984. He was a Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1970. He is primarily known for his work in wheat varieties for the developing world which created the "Green Revolution" responsible for feeding billions. The Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M continues his legacy.

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