Malecio is a 27-year-old farmer in rural Honduras who lives in a mountainous part of the country, three hours from the closest paved road, with his wife and two children. Earlier this year, Malecio heard about sustainable smallholder ag training through FRB’s Honduras-Nueva Frontera program. He was interested in the training because he had seen other farmers in the area using the new methods, and their crops looked and produced much better than his. So he got in touch with Cesar, an extension agent who works for CASM, FRB’s local partner.
When Cesar came to look at his farm, Malecio explained to him that he was planting only corn, beans, and coffee, the yields were never enough to make it through the year, and low coffee prices meant that he wasn't able to purchase the food his family
When Foods Resource Bank and Mennonite delegations visit the farmers who participate in FRB’s “Cacao not Coca” program in the Chocó region of Colombia, it becomes clear that the moral support implicit in their presence is quite meaningful.
The program encourages Afro-descendant and indigenous families whose desire is to turn away from illegal coca production, to return to traditional farming through training and follow-up. In May, visitors and farmers alike were shocked to find that their rice, vegetable and cacao (cocoa) crops had been erroneously wiped out by aerial spraying of glyphosate,
Note: The Mozambican unit of exchange is the metical (plural meticais)
One of the unique facets of FRB is that it allows time for programs to study unexpected results and challenges, learn from them, and share their findings with other programs and partners. FRB’s Tete-Mutarara program works with local farmers to improve their harvests so that nutritious food is available to them year-round. However, unusual and extreme weather patterns can cause emergency situations that alter well-laid plans.
After flooding in early 2013 destroyed much of the newly planted crop, the program provided over 21 metric tons of improved seeds to the disaster survivors.
Foods Resource Bank’s Guatemala Four Departments program works through local indigenous partners of World Renew, an FRB member organization, in four geographic regions of the country. One of these, Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Polochic (ADIP), assists famers in remote Mayan communities in adopting sustainable agriculture practices to improve their production and crop diversification.
Lucía, an active participant in this program, recently shared her story:
The goal of FRB’s Dominican Republic-Bateyes program is to reduce malnutrition and increase family incomes and the overall quality of life of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent. These marginalized communities live in bateyes [ba TAY yace] — former sugar plantation work camps — and, recently ruled as “in transit” (though families may have lived in the country for four generations), are not generally eligible for government services.
Their situation is improving through the program: participants are learning new skills in crop management, soil preparation, community seed banks, nutrition, vegetable and small animal production, and efficient marketing of excess produce. Pass-on-the-gift projects with small animals afford participants a source of protein and income. Organizing committees help communities access basics such as water and education for their children.
As FRB’s Malawi-Kasungu-Mzimba program draws to a close, a report marks the program’s success and indicates that lives and livelihoods have been strengthened with training and support. In one of the world’s least-developed countries (171 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index), farmers have had to face such challenges as declining soil fertility, plant and soil diseases and pests, lack of access to water, and the high risks of depending on one crop (maize) for survival.
The program’s focus has been on expanding and strengthening agricultural-based livelihoods through the introduction of crop diversification and appropriate agricultural production techniques like
Greetings from the DCC Growing Project!
We have some corn to plant and we hope you'll join us Saturday morning!! This winter's dry weather delayed the decision about whether to plant at all this year, but we're happy to report that the project is on and we will once again plant, grow and sell sweet corn to raise funds for the Foods Resource Bank. We apologize for the late notice about planting, but ask for your understanding; in farming, decisions sometimes need to be made at the last minute and there isn't much we can do about it.
It's FUN, appropriate for all ages, and doesn't take that long when there's a big crowd. Plus, the weather should be absolutely gorgeous,
Joseph Shigulu, the program coordinator for World Renew’s local partner in Tanzania, the Sengerema Informal Sector Association (SISA), was one of the most dedicated and friendly Tanzanians I have ever met.
On November 30, 2013, Joseph was robbed and killed while driving home from work on his motorcycle. His sudden death came as a shock to his family, to everyone in his community, and to all of us at World Renew, who saw him as a man who was loved by everyone. Joseph was doing so much to help his community, had a passion for serving God, and seemed to be at the peak of his effectiveness. This was probably the hardest news we have ever received in our Tanzania country program, and World Renew and all of our partners are still in shock about this tragic loss.
FRB’s Kenya Ganze-Jaribuni program supports smallholder farmers in coastal Kenya by organizing them into Farmer Field Schools (FFS) to learn conservation agriculture methods, agroforestry and animal raising. In Jaribuni there are 306 farmers in eight FFSs. The following profile of one FFS shows how the farmers have continued to use their skills to
Below is a prayer request for our partner staff with Honduras-Nueva Frontera program. Many have met Delmis during travels with FRB. She recently notified us that violence has suddenly erupted in Nueva Frontera.
Due to food scarcity and lack of employment people are becoming desperate and crime had been steadily rising. Organized criminal groups are now vying for control of the area and robberies are becoming quite common.