The Government of Canada supports SeedChange with $2.6 million to prevent a food crisis in Latin America

November 9, 2020

When COVID-19 hit last spring, a pandemic induced food crisis seemed imminent in Latin America.

Photograph of hands with dark fingernail polish holding a bunch of just-harvested beans. Some beans are light green and some are purple. Funding through the Government of Canada is aimed at growing more food like this to prevent a pandemic food crisis in Latin America.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring, food prices around the world immediately started to rise. It was a clear signal that the health crisis was setting the stage for a global food crisis.

By May, the UN predicted that the world’s hungry could grow by 132 million by the end of 2020. Understanding this, the Government of Canada worked with unprecedented speed to respond, supported by civil society partners like SeedChange.

Government of Canada combats pandemic food crisis in Latin America

Since August, SeedChange has been delivering a $2.6 million emergency food security response program in the Dry Corridor of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, funded by the Government of Canada. The program is supporting farmers to boost local food and seed production and engage in local market activities adapted to the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is helping targeted rural communities limit the spread of COVID-19 and maintain economic activities that protect people’s livelihoods. It’s also ensuring remote rural communities continue to have access to food in spite of lockdown restrictions.

With our decades of experience working with local farmers, SeedChange is well positioned to deliver an impactful pandemic response. And because we focus on empowering farmers with agroecological practices—especially women, youth and Indigenous farmers—this investment in food security will also advance long-term goals of gender equality, climate adaptation, biodiversity conservation and social justice.

Canada’s support is already making a difference

Three months in, the impact of Canada’s support for farmers in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua is already delivering returns.

Our Canadian partner, World Accord, and local partners Fundación para la Investigación Participativa con Agricultores de Honduras (FIPAH), Programa de Reconstrucción Rural (PRR), CARE Honduras, Asociación de Organizaciones de Los Cuchumatanes (ASOCUCH) and Federación de Cooperativas para el Desarrollo (FECODESA) have helped farmers access the necessary seeds to launch their growing seasons. They’re delivering training and technical support to help them expand their food and seed production.

They’re supporting farmers in finding ways to connect with local markets while staying as safe as possible from COVID-19. As a result, community members are better able to find the food they need, close to home.

Learn more about what this support has meant for Tomasa Ramírez Matías, from Guatemala, whose newly expanded garden is keeping her family safe from hunger.