Featured Partner: EHALE – Mozambique
Agita Martinho lives in Mozambique and she has AIDS. When staff from EHALE met with her, she was bedridden. They took her to the hospital to be tested and to begin anti-retroviral therapy. Little by little Agita recovered her health and when she heard that EHALE was carrying out training for farmers in a nearby village, she joined the training. She was a committed trainee and applied all of the techniques she learned to her farm. Land ownership in the Megovolas district belongs to those who cultivate it. Agita took on two hectares of land and grew maize, peanuts, beans, sesame, cassava, pumpkins and other vegetables. She became a model farmer and her farm is now used as a hub where other farmers come to learn how to increase production through crop diversification. Agita credits the food that she grows and the goat that she received from EHALE as a means to prevent others from dying of hunger as she almost did when she was sick.
Featured Partner: Episcopal Church of Cuba
PWRDF has partnered with Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio and the Episcopal Church of Cuba (ECC) to help community members to increase their knowledge, skills and capacity in food production, the planting of vegetable gardens and the raising of small animals organically and ecologically. These sustainable agricultural techniques provide sustenance and nutrition to households and supply income from the sale of surplus items. With the help of our Cuban partners, we have been able to help families grow and preserve their own foods, ensuring that there is always access to food. This has led to greater self-sufficiency in her constituency, mainly in poor rural communities. The program has helped established community vegetable gardens contribute to the community members’ nutrition and health and address food security issues. The program has also provided work, income and improved nutrition levels for mothers and children.
Featured Partner: UBINIG – Bangladesh
PWRDF supports food security in Bangladesh through long time partner UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative). UBINIG trains farmers in new agricultural techniques, promotes the use of “seed huts” to store and preserve seeds ensuring the availability of a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs and holds nutrition classes for families. The New Agricultural Movement is a positive alternative to western methods that allows farming communities to practice biodiversity-based ecological agriculture. They follow operational rules adopted by the farmers themselves, which include: no pesticides; no chemical fertilizers; copy the forest and produce diversity; seeds and genetic resources are the common resources of the community; water is wealth. Farmers are pleased that their harvests now produce enough to feed their families with enough left over to sell in the market. They also save seeds for another year and return seeds to the Community Seed Wealth Centre.
Featured Partner: SPFTC – Philippines
Since 1996, SPFTC has been the pioneer fair trade organization for central Visayas, promoting fair trade practices for the fruit growers in the region. SPFTC has a fruit processing plant and a fair trade shop located in Cebu City to sell the processed fruits along with other local crafts and food items. The plant provides workers with opportunities for skills training and capacity building. Women make up 40% of the workforce and worker turnover is low because rights are respected and working conditions are healthy. SPFTC arranges for various discussions on socio-economic issues, workers’ rights and training for its fruit growers. With the help of PWRDF partner FARDEC, SPFTC has helped farmers shift to organic and natural methods of growing fruits, and raised awareness of the environmental and health hazards when using agro chemicals. Most of the growers are share croppers. Before they formed their own groups and association share croppers could keep only one third of their produce. Now they can keep up to 80%. One growers group present at the training said that with the help of FARDEC and SPFTC, they have even been able to obtain ownership of their land from their absentee landlord.
Featured Partner: Madre Tierra – Guatemala
ANA RAMOS and her family used to ingest a steady diet of instant soup and canned beans. Ana knew that they needed to improve their diet to improve their health. She became involved in PWRDF partner Madre Tierra’s sustainable agriculture program in Willy Wood, Guatemala and participated in their ‘Peasant to Peasant’ farmer training. Ana learned about the value of fresh, sustainable food. She now nurtures a home garden that supplies her family with fresh herbs, tomatoes, plantain and healthy greens. Although she reads very little, Ana took what she had learned and now works as a volunteer facilitator and promoter of the Madre Tierra program. Her family is much healthier and Ana and her family have become strong advocates for the Madre Tierra program, sharing their knowledge with others—passing it on.