As the rains begin to fall this May in Guatemala, Semilla Nueva is working with farmers to try out a different type of corn, Quality Protein Maize (QPM). By simply experimenting with this alternative variety of high-protien corn (the crop grown everywhere that provides up to 60% of their diet), farmers can transform the face of malnutrition in their communities. Scientists from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) were awarded the World Food Prize in 2000 for their development of QPM, a variety that held all of the necessary amino acids to make corn a complete protein, with 90% of the protein of milk. QPM has been used to combat malnutrition over the last decade from China to Kenya – and it has now arrived in Guatemala, the most malnourished country in the Western Hemisphere.
With the help of several international farming organizations, the World Food Progam and Caritas, Semilla Nueva has helped bring QPM seed into the hands of over 2,500 farmers this May. Given average yields, this could help each family grow over 1,000 pounds of high protein food, helping these 2,500 farmers growing their own way out of poverty and malnourishment.
Watch our latest video from the communities, farmers and their families who are already sharing in the bounty of this change. A big thanks to Matthew Harris, our incredible videography intern!