ConDev collaborated with Semilla Nueva, a non-profit organization that works to develop new and sustainable agricultural technologies, including the introduction and promotion of Quality Protein Maize (QPM). With the ConDev Foundation and Semilla Nueva, ConDev studied the effect of improved family nutrition (through QPM consumption) on violent behavior, stress, and anxiety within rural farming families in Guatemala.
Several studies have identified malnutrition as a cause of anxiety, anti-social behavior, and oppositional disorder; it is also associated with violence and crime (Walker, 2007; Hoddinott, 2013). Taken together, the impact of malnutrition on the interrelated problems of poverty, health, and social cohesion makes it a key barrier in the development of a post civil war Guatemala, and one of the highest priorities for the Guatemalan government, civil society, and international development organizations.
This study intended to measure the effects of the intervention (the shift from conventional maize to QPM consumption) on intra-familial violence and stress levels in selected communities of Guatemala. The results of this study indicated the importance of scaling up QPM consumption in the region and inform policy decisions.