Dec 2016 Progress Report on Research Program:
Enhancing Livelihood and Incomes of Rural Women through Postharvest Technology, Phase II
Partner: Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Pueblos Hermanos, Guatemala (ADIPH)
Progress Report – Dec. 2016
PI: Carlos Collado, Technical Coordinator, ALIAR
Project Manager: Johanna Roman, Program Manager, Conflict and Development Foundation
Background: Phase I of this Transformative Solutions program funded by Texas A&M University’s Center on Conflict and Development (ConDev) had the objective of testing an innovation to empower rural women through agricultural technology. Mayan women working at three fruit and vegetable packing centers used modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) to process pre-washed fruits and vegetables. ConDev researchers are analyzing data to determine if employment at these centers increased the bargaining power of women in the household and made them less prone to abuse in the society.
Objectives of Phase II: This activity will produce research that identifies the relationship between women who work in vegetable packing centers, their decision-making ability in their households, and likelihood of violence committed against them.
Research Methodology: Data will be obtained through randomized sampling of 250-300 women working at a selected vegetable packing center and 250-300 non-working women in the City of Chichicastenango, in the Department of El Quiché. Women in these communities are vulnerable due to high levels of unemployment, social and economic marginalization, and lack of education. In addition, they suffer from inequality, poverty, and hunger.
Main Project Activities:
1. Data collection activities are underway at the vegetable packing center operated by Asociación Santo Tomás located in Chichicastenango, Quiché.
2. Conducted meetings with legal representatives of farmer organizations that are participating in this program.
3. Survey instruments have been validated. Working and non-working women are completingbaseline surveys developed by the Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University.
4. The data coding process is being developed.
5. International marketing support activities have been conducted. Potential buyers from Fruit Consutling Europe B.V. visited our target packing centers to evaluate their packaged products. Also, food safety training programs were conducted in partnership with the Republic of Taiwan and the Ministry of Agriculture. Product samples (in Modified Atmosphere Packaging) were sent to the USA.
6. Meetings with local retailers and Guatemalan supermarkets interested in MAP products were held. Visits to local supermarkets were held to explore the variety of packaged vegetables available in refrigerated stands.
7. ALIAR is working with the National Agricultural Products Exporters Association (AGEXPORT) to introduce their MAP products into European markets in February 2017.