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Equator Initiative Case Study – Ixpiyakok Women’s Association (ADEMI)

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Ixpiyakok Women’s Association (Associación de Mujeres Ixpiyakok - ADEMI) brings together 30 groups of Maya women in Chimaltenango to improve local food security and nutrition through organic family farms and seed banks. Originally launched as a credit and savings program for local women, the association has expanded into health and education service provision, as well as advocacy for women’s rights. The association supports the creation of family farms, provides guidance on organic farming techniques, and promotes the cultivation of native heirloom species such as chipilín, quilete, and native chilies.
Training is also provided to ‘community educators’ on health, food security and nutrition. Household gardens provide local women with surplus crops that can be sold in local markets to generate an additional source of income. Each self-help group maintains a central seed bank, which has increased local access to native plants and reduced dependence on external inputs. Each group also maintains a tree nursery for fruit tree propagation, which adds diversity and earning capacity to family gardens and farms. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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