Agroecology, Diversified Income, & Nutrition Education in Quintana Roo, México
Long-term Agroecology, Diversified Income and Nutrition Education Strategies for Women and Youth in 6 Communities in the Zona Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico
This project is an expansion of an initial one-year pilot project executed in 2012 as a collaboration between CAN and the Intercultural Maya University of Quintana Roo (UIMQRoo). The lessons learned from the pilot participatory action research process in which we included project beneficiaries in project planning, monitoring, and execution, informed expansion of the project into 5 other communities. The current 2-year project, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, was launched in January 2014 and completed in December 2015.
The overall goal of the project was to strengthen community food security in six communities in the Zona Maya utilizing the strategies of strengthening agroecological practices, establishing and strengthening alternative market chains for local produce, nutrition and food consumption education, and strengthened civic and social organization.
The specific objectives are:
- Strengthen and deepen the impacts achieved in the Pilot project in three communities, and expand with improved and more focused strategies to three more communities, integrating lessons learned from evaluation of the Pilot experience and utilizing a participatory action research (PAR) process to ensure the design and implementation of strategy lines that more fully meet the needs of participating families and communities.
- Strengthen food security and increase dietary diversity among participating families in all nine communities through innovations in agroecological production systems and crop diversification, the establishment of sustainable, direct, alternative market channels for locally produced crops or value added products, and nutrition education focused on local and traditional foods.
- Strengthen and expand the local ally network to support continued sustainability of activities in the long run.
The project directly benefitted 226 individuals organized into 54 families in 50 households. Direct participants were 63 women heads of household, who were invited to participate in the project, and then organized into community-level women’s groups. Trainings, workshops, and meetings were then directed to the organized groups.
The transformation of the women into entrepreneurs – they are beginning to sell their products in multiple venues and are building the confidence and knowledge to value their products, set prices, and sell.