Support World Food Day by Supporting Family Farming Programs
Food for the Hungry Programs Inspire Hope and End Poverty
When you hear the terms “kitchen garden” or “home farm,” you might picture a box of fresh herbs growing in the windowsill or a few tomato plants climbing up a trellis in a pot on the patio. In developing countries, however, family farming is not a popular trend. It’s the key to ending poverty, stopping childhood malnutrition and saving lives.
Today, there are over 800 million hungry people in the word, with 26 percent of the world’s children suffering from malnutrition and 2 billion people having at least one micro nutrient deficiency. Family farmers are making a world of difference in improving food security.This year, the UN General Assembly has designated 2014 as the “International Year of Family Farming”and the theme for this year’s World Food Day, October 16, 2014, is “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth"
Food for the Hungry (FH) is leading the charge, establishing sustainable farming programs with the goal of eradicating poverty in the world’s hardest hit areas.
“FH is on the ground in some of the most remote and poverty-stricken countries,” Marty Martin FH’s Chief Operating Officer. “Ourprograms are designed to help people take ownership of their development, so that over time, they will no longer be reliant on FH or any other entities to create their own sustainable future.”
Below are just two of the many FH success stories that demonstrate how FH walks with communities to bring hope and progress.
Planting Hope: Seed Multiplication Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, constant internal conflict has resulted in 2 million people being displaced and 6.4 million people experiencing food insecurity. Jobs are scarce and most people survive by selling small amounts of surplus produce in local markets or taking on odd jobs. Thirty-two-year-old mother of six, Angelaine Christine Feza, was one of the many people in Kitchanga village barely getting by. “Before FH came here,” says Angelaine, “we just survived with what we could find. My husband and I planted yams on a small piece of land. We sold what we could to put food on the table. Whatever little was left, we’d take the children to school"
FH established the Emilingombe seed multiplication program in Kitchanga to help people like Fezaim prove the health of their crops. Here, vulnerable families improve the quality of seeds in the community, learn good agronomy practices, and feed their families. Peasant farmers learn the importance of crop spacing and weeding to ensure a better yield. They also participate in a community project such as working in the tree nursery or in seed multiplication nurseries in exchange for a monthly food ration, typically 50kg (about 110 pounds) of corn, eight kgs (17 pounds) of peas and four liters (1gallon) of vegetable oil. As a result of her participation in this program, Angelaine’s hope for the future has been renewed. “Since I began working here,” she says, “I am sure of food for my family, hunger has reduced. I was always worried about what my children would eat. At times we only ate at night. With the little food, they weren’t healthy.”
Sowing Seeds of Change: Potato Seed Production Program in Ethiopia
Despite his best efforts, 35-year old Ethiopian father of six, Abera Anula, was unable to provide for his children due to the low productivity of his farm land. Just as he was preparing to hire human traffickers and risk his life to migrate illegally to South Africa, FH approached him and asked if he would like to participate in their improved potato seed production program. Here, he learned how to multiply good potato seeds and to distribute to fellow farmers in his community.
“After the training, FH gave me 1,250kg (2.2 pounds)of potato seed for multiplication which I planted and after four months,I produced 14,000kg (31,000 pounds)of improved potato seed and sold it for about $2,000 USD.” Abera used the proceeds to buy a hybrid milking cow and an ox, saving a portion for the money for his trip to South Africa. The following year, he produced more potato seed and sold it for an even better price. “Now, I am able to rent more farm land from other farmers to expand the potato seed multiplication project.In two years, I am able to feed my children year round, supply milk and send four of my children to school.“ Hesays he still has the saved money to migrate to South Africa, but FH helped him find a better job opportunity in his own village.He has a plan to open a grinding mill with the money he has saved, providing a service to his fellow villagers. “Thank you FH for opening my eyes to see a better job opportunity in my village.”
There are ways to support the efforts of FH to end poverty through the FH catalog. A donation of $15 provides 20 food tree seedlings to grow nutritious fruits like avocados, apples, bananas, papaya, man go and oranges. A gift of $25 provides rural farmers with a shovel, hoe, grass cutter and machete. Sow a seed of hope with a $29 donation to purchase seeds for tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, cucumbers, zucchini and legumes.
Founded in 1971, Food for the Hungry provides emergency relief and long-term development programs with operations in more than 20 countries to help the world’s most vulnerable people. Learn more by visit ingfh.org. Social connections include facebook.com/foodforthehungry and twitter.com/food4thehungry.
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