Cardamom sustains the economy of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, which accounts for 70 %of Guatemala’s production. Smallholder spice farmers rely on revenues from cardamom crops to feed their families and cover basic needs such as food, clothing, medicine and education. Although Guatemala is the biggest exporter of cardamom in the world, little has been done within the country to safeguard this vital crop.
Thrips, small pests capable of spreading plant diseases, are infecting and ruining entire crops. Lack of access to new and improved technologies is also hindering farmers from improving genetic quality and reaching reliable international markets. Further, over-use of fuelwood to dry cardamom pods is stripping the land of trees and causing environmental degradation.
These factors are causing Alta Verapaz to experience a “cardamom crisis” that is reflected in production quantity and quality, entailing a societal crisis as family incomes plummet and cardamom-dependent families fall into food insecurity. PROMESA CARDAMIEL, a project of Heifer, International, provides the key to solving these problems. Project participants will “learn by doing” through training campaigns that will help farmers implement sustainable agroecological practices, boost yields and link to profitable markets to firmly root themselves in the local spice, coffee and honey supply chains.
The JM Thomason family is proud to support the Cardamom Project both theoretically and through donations from the sale of each tin.
To learn more about and/or to show your support for PROMESA CARDAMIEL, click here.