International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013
Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013

Connecting impoverished women with micro irrigation markets in Guatemala

The goal of the “Scaling-up Micro-Irrigation Systems” project in Guatemala (SCAMPIS) is to assist families in producing their own food (and selling surpluses) by making an efficient use of water and other resources that are available in the communities. The project is being implemented by Funcafé and IFAD.

Guatemala has a history of 36 years of internal armed conflict causing poverty, discrimination and violence which mostly affected women, children and indigenous communities. Despite the positive developments since the peace agreements in 1996, there is still a long way to go. Many of the participating women in the project have experienced attacks, exclusion and have limited opportunities to participate in capacity-building and decision-making processes.

In Guatemala 1 out of 2 children is undernourished and there is a clear link between the undernourishment of children and the level of education of their mothers. Therefore, Funcafé identified women and especially the mothers as head of the households as a target group of the project. The mothers are, especially in rural areas, the ones that are taking care of the children, and are in charge of selecting food and preparing the family meals.

Through the SCAMPIS project, small farmers gained access to low-cost irrigation tools and technologies. 70% of the producers that are using these technologies provided by the project are women. This enhanced the empowerment of women, increased their participation in the community and provided them with an opportunity to do business.