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K-state's $6M grant - transforming agriculture in Guatemala

K-state's $6M grant - transforming agriculture in Guatemala


By Scout Nelson

Kansas State University receives a $6 million grant from USAID to bolster agricultural research, education, and outreach in Guatemala through its Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL). Led by P.V. Vara Prasad, the lab aims to combat poverty and malnutrition in Guatemala's rural communities.

Guatemala faces significant challenges, with high rates of poverty and malnutrition affecting rural and indigenous populations. SIIL's focus is to strengthen agricultural practices and enhance food security to address these pressing issues.

Jan Middendorf, SIIL's associate director, outlines four main objectives for the grant:

  • Strengthen collaboration and partnerships across sectors.
  • Promote innovation and technology transfer.
  • Enhance institutional capacity and knowledge management.
  • Improve agricultural nutrient management and farmer practices.

Middendorf emphasizes SIIL's commitment to the "One Health" concept, linking healthy soils to human well-being. By prioritizing the needs of local communities, SIIL aims to create sustainable solutions that benefit both people and the environment.

Ernie Minton, the Dean of K-State's College of Agriculture, highlights the significance of international engagement in advancing agricultural research and addressing global challenges. He emphasizes the positive impact of SIIL's work on both state and global agricultural ecosystems.

SIIL's partnership with Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and the Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology aims to build local capacity and address key challenges in Guatemala's agri-food systems. Prasad expresses enthusiasm for collaborating with local partners to tackle food security, climate, and soil insecurities.

The grant builds on SIIL's decade-long commitment to sustainable agriculture practices and food security solutions. Through initiatives such as Agricultural Technology Parks and international student experiences, SIIL has made significant contributions to global food security.

K-State's partnership with USAID and its work through SIIL demonstrates a commitment to addressing food security challenges and advancing sustainable agriculture practices on a global scale.

Photo Credit: kansas-state-university

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