HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation supports vocational training for young men and women farmers in rural Guatemala which enables them to set up small businesses and support their families.
There are two vocational qualifications on offer. The young people can train to become qualified farmers or agricultural entrepreneurs. For the former, after an introductory course, they work for five months as apprentices on farms. They attend two weeks of theory lessons per month. Such farmers can subsequently also undergo training to become agricultural entrepreneurs. They draw up their own small project during a preparatory course and then implement it on a family farm for a year.
They may specialise in pig breeding, pig rearing or tomato production, enabling them to earn a good income by selling their produce on regional markets. They are able to pay back the micro-loans they received for their small projects (from microfinance organizations) after their first harvest and sales.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation wants to integrate more young women into the project. This involves the decentralisation of the training centres - closer to the villages - as to meet the specific needs of young rural women.