While the agricultural sector in Guatemala employs the 31.2% of the total workforce (ILOSTAT), it only contributes 11.3% of the national GDP (World Bank) and represents a very low percentage of the total investments in the country. An urgent enhancement of investment in agriculture is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular to end poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2). However, we not only need “more” investments, we must have “better” investment. This can be achieved following the guidance of the CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI).
Women, youth and indigenous peoples are key players
For investments to be responsible in Guatemala, they should adequately take into account women, youth and indigenous peoples. These groups constitute, respectively, 51%, 68% and 41% of the population. However, they do not enjoy equal access to investment opportunities.
Multi-stakeholder capacity assessment
On 16-18 May 2018, FAO and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) organized a multi-stakeholder workshop in Antigua, Guatemala, to explore the relevance of the CFS-RAI for the country and to understand related capacity development needs. The workshop followed an earlier sub-regional assessment carried out in 2016 with participants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, and is part of the FAO Umbrella Programme “Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems”.
Nineteen participants from different government institutions, the private sector and civil society organizations (including youth, women and indigenous people) shared their experience in relation to investment processes in agriculture and food systems at different levels and in different regions in Guatemala.
The main objective of the workshop was to identify existing capacities and capacity gaps to support concrete application of the CFS-RAI at the national level and to strengthen the enabling environment, particularly through the improvement of relevant policies and legal frameworks.
The assessment was carried out through the use of a unique questionnaire that addresses a number of different issues related to agricultural investment capacities. This particular process has been developed by FAO and applied for over 8 years. The questionnaire is currently being refined to include the lessons learnt in Guatemala and will be used as part of a capacity assessment workshop in the Dominican Republic later this year. It will be published and made available to interested practitioners to support their own assessments.