Foods Resource Bank Blog

Sharing the Gift of Improved Rice Yields in Cambodia

Farmers in Cambodia celebrate their rice harvest in December. This year, a farmer named Dia has much to be thankful for. Despite a tenuous year for rice farmers, along with drought after the initial rains began, Dia was able to harvest a good crop using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Dia is a member of one of the twelve Farmer Field Schools started by World Renew in the Cambodia-South Program with funding from Foods Resource Bank (FRB).

Dia has learned SRI and many other farming techniques through the Farmer Field School in his village, and he has put many of them into practice. Dia said, “Before,I just wandered around visiting people and didn't really put any effort into my farming. Now that I've learned these new methods from the Farmer Field School, I have been much more successful and motivated to try new things.”

02/13/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Program-to-Program Visits in India are Eye-Opening and Inspirational

You just never know what might happen when two or more people from different cultures get together, but from my experience the results are always surprisingly great! This past summer FRB invited two women from the India Banka program to visit the US. Unfortunately, one of our invited guests, Suggamuni Kisku, a small-holder farmer, was unable to come. To honor the lengths that Suggamuni and local partner PRADAN went through to try and get her to the US, we invited her to join us on a program to program visit to the India-Partharkhmah program in the chilly Northeast of India.

02/11/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Food and a Future for Eduardo’s Children in Nicaragua

Eduardo farms a small, hilly plot of land in the rain forest along the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. From his porch you can see corn and beans growing together, pineapple plants being used to prevent soil erosion, a small vegetable patch, and banana trees. It has taken thirteen years of hard work, but he is now able to grow enough food to feed his family throughout the year, with enough extra to share with needy neighbors and hungry children in his community.

02/08/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Courage to try New Learning in India Brings Transformation

His father left the family when Bipro Diya was only seven. Bipro’s mother raised him and his three brothers on the meager produce of their one acre of land. Farming was their main source of food and income, but it was far too little for Bipro’s family; they lived with food insecurity six to eight months a year. The family survived by working as day labourers so they could at least purchase rice from the market. In 2009 Bipro joined ‘Umsaw Green Field,’ a farmers’ club formed by the Patharkhmah Food Security Project (supported by FRB and World Renew).

02/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Reaching out to the needy in Honduras, despite violence

AKRON, Pa – Like the biblical widow who faithfully offered her mite, a tiny Brethren in Christ (BIC) association in the hot, arid, mountainous area of southern Honduras has been working selflessly with neighbors in spite of growing violence and changing weather patterns. Honduras now has the highest homicide rate in the world according to 2011 U.N. figures – 82 per 100,000 inhabitants per year – and the prevailing lawlessness caused the U.S. Peace Corps to withdraw its volunteers from the Central American country in January.

With Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) support, the Social Development Committee of the Brethren in Christ churches in Honduras, known as CODESO, is teaching farmers how to store crops, providing microloans and offering agricultural training – all to develop a more reliable food supply and income.

02/04/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Community Savings and Loan groups work to improve local bridge in Sierra Leone

A community-rehabilitated bridge in the Koinadugu community of Sierra Leone has become a “bridge to the future.” The new bridge is an example of how, when people from local Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILCs) contribute money and labor to improve their village’s infrastructure, everyone benefits.

01/30/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Importance of Community Participation in Reducing Post-Harvest Loss

Nicolao, a farmer in the Timor Leste - Viqueque program, lives with his wife Martinha and their two children. Each year he prepares his soil and plants maize, just like the other farmers in this remote and rural part of the country. Maize is the staple grain for most families here, and Nicolao depends on a good harvest so his family can have enough to eat throughout the year.

Nicolao plants what seeds are available to him, which are not the improved varieties, so he often has low yields when it is time to harvest.  After harvest he stores the grain as best he can, but he still loses between 25% and 30% of his crop each year to mold, rodents, and weevils.  There just is never enough to last throughout the year. Some of his neighbors sell their maize right after harvest. Although the prices are low, they at least receive something for their work instead of watching it rot, or be eaten by rodents.

01/21/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Ag development for small farmers heals the land in Nicaragua

Heydi, 32, a farmer in the disaster-prone area of Nicaragua along the Coco River (Río Coco) on the country’s eastern coast, now has the knowledge to provide food for her family thanks to training she receives at her local agricultural training center. FRB’s Río Coco program operates in the indigenous communities of this geographically isolated region which suffers from extreme rates of poverty, malnutrition, and vulnerability to climate change and natural disaster. After Hurricane Felix in 2007, local partner Acción Médica Cristiana created the center to offer communities appropriate agricultural practices to help them grow food in spite of the loss of trees and topsoil.

01/16/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Children of God

Newsletter: 

In mid-December, as part of an expression of Week of Compassion’s partnership with Foods Resource Bank (FRB), I traveled to two very different states in India, Bihar and Meghalaya, to see some of the results of the food security programs we support through work with local on-the-ground partners and members of FRB’s ecumenical network.  From the sleepy mountain town of Shillong  to the chaotic bluster of Kolkata, India’s diverse people, landscapes, and cultures absorbed my attention, begged many questions, and gave me much to ponder, even weeks later.

01/14/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Young FRB Volunteers Give up Pizza for Tanzania

Newsletter: 

Recently I was invited to dinner with the Vanden Bosch family, a family that in 2011 solicited help for a school project (see “Children Give Up Treat to Help Others in Need”). They followed that up in 2012 by giving up pizza for 6 weeks and documenting the amount they would have spent every time they thought about having pizza during that six weeks. 

01/11/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More