Upon his return, USAID offered Aditaim the resources needed to improve his agriculture techniques, better respond to market demands, and improve his family’s nutrition through diet diversification. He was skeptical of changing from the traditional farming practices used for generations in the Western Highlands, but soon found that he had a 120 percent increase in yield in his test plot.
USAID reduces poverty and chronic malnutrition in Guatemala’s Western Highlands by increasing farmer’s productivity, transforming crops into value-added products, and facilitating market access to generate income. This increases a community's resilience to challenges like climate change, natural disasters, and now the COVID-19 pandemic. It also creates powerful incentives for individuals to stay in their local communities and build better lives for their families, rather than accepting the risks inherent in irregular migration.
Now, Aditaim is working in partnership with microfinance partners and increasing yields. As a result of his family’s increased income, he no longer has an incentive to leave Guatemala and has become a prominent member of his community, promoting techniques to increase yields, improve nutrition, and build greater income. As he walks his plots, he points out with pride the huge ripe tomatoes that are making him more self-reliant and providing a future for his family in Guatemala.