frb newsletter

West African Ground Nut Stew

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Widely cultivated across the African continent, ground nuts (peanuts) are an important crop. Because they are a leguminous crop, ground nuts contribute to soil fertility by fixing nitrogen and because they are high in protein, ground nuts also contribute to the nutritional state of communities. Many FRB supported programs train farmers on the cultivation and nutrition of ground nuts. Inspired by a recent FRB trip to visit programs in Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique. FRB volunteer Judi Frost shares this recipe for groundnut stew. 

11/30/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Small Loans, Big Impact for Colombian Farmers

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Jorge’s entire farm is visible from the ridge above it, as it falls down the steep slope and into the curving valley around a small stream. All told, Jorge cultivates about two hectares of land in a rotation of corn, rice, and two staple root crops, cassava and ñame (yam), of which he sells a part in the local market and keeps the rest to feed himself and his family. He farms all of the land by hand, using simple tools like machetes and hoes to clear brush off the steep slopes and loosen up the soil in pockets which he then plants by hand. Jorge is truly a small-scale farmer.

11/28/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Farming as a Family in Uganda

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In an earlier post we introduced the gender integration pilot program that we are undertaking with Lutheran World Relief.  The first pilot program to launch is in Uganda and will be working in the eastern part of the country with a newly formed grower’s society that works with 11 co-operatives. The pilot program will work with two of these cooperatives to help improve farm production, marketing and to introduce a model called “Farming as a Family Business”.

11/26/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

New LWR Pilot Programs look at Gender Roles in Agriculture

Foods Resource Bank’s members and their overseas partners put in a tremendous amount of care and attention to the needs of local communities when designing overseas programs. Understanding the local context including the root causes of hunger, are essential for helping a community design a program that best fits their needs. The root causes of hunger and poverty are often things unseen on the surface that are complex and intertwined.

11/16/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Highlights and Lessons Learned on an FRB Trip

There are so many highlights and lessons learned in an FRB trip but here are a few from my recent experience in Africa and Armenia:

11/08/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Successful Saving in Malawi

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Each time I visit Africa I am reminded of the power of building on the traditional methodologies that women in communities have used for centuries to save small amounts of money in contexts where they have no access to formal banking and/or credit.  Formerly known as table banking, tontines, etc. these methodologies are being refined and reintroduced in many FRB funded communities. Savings and Internal Lending Committees (SILCs) and Village Savings and Lending (VSLs) are some of the new names for the similar methodologies that are spreading rapidly, affirming that people adopt practices they see as beneficial.

10/29/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Hold with Open Hands

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I continue to marvel at the deep wisdom and elegant simplicity of the FRB model; all it asks is that we hold before ourselves open hands and see what it is that we have to offer. For some it is the knowledge and love of farming, for others it is land or seed or the machinery to plant, tend and harvest a crop to be grown for the benefit of other farmers in places where hunger stifles potential and erodes hope. For others it is skill in fundraising or having financial resources to contribute. And for some like Dale Goodman it is the network of relationships from which one can invite together a diverse group to hear about FRB and see what might happen. 

10/29/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Learning from an Overseas Visitor

I had the pleasure of attending a recent growing project harvest celebration with a representative of one of our programs in Malawi. Nancy Kimani Hinga, program consultant for CRWRC/World Renew, is in North America now on a deputation visit. She’s a deeply spiritual, friendly and gracious person, and an excellent speaker. She reported to attendees on the impact FRB’s Malawi-Nkhoma program has had on the women who participate in it. 

09/27/2012 | Comments: 1 | Add Comment | Read More

A Gift for Several Michigan Growing Projects

What a precious gift FRB receives from Green Valley Agricultural Inc (GVA) who supplies a number of Michigan growing projects with pallets of seed each year. Employee La Raine Salmon explains how  it all began:

08/20/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Memory of Don "Pete" Nofziger

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Farmer Don "Pete" Nofziger supported FRB with an individual growing project for more than ten years and at every FRB event he attended would ask the deeper questions with his humorous but serious grin.  Article 2 of his will includes a message to his FRB friends:
07/26/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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