My name is Jogindra. I am 55 years old. My father died when I was young, so I lived with my elder brother and helped him in his work. He arranged my marriage when I was only 14. It was hard for me to provide for my wife, but I was always thinking about how I could improve. I decided to lease land to start farming, and was eventually able to purchase 3 kattha [about ¼ of an acre] and began growing vegetables and rice. However, I often found it difficult to run my house as smoothly as I wanted. I was tense and found it hard to deal with my daily problems.
Then, one day, I had an idea: why not look into one of the farmers’ groups organized by BICWS Nepal? Since I joined this past year, my knowledge has been built up so much. We now eat fresh vegetables, and I grow enough food to keep us well fed. We also have enough to sell some of it in the local market. I’ve made 24,000 rupees ($228) in a season, with a profit of 16,000 rupees ($152), a significant improvement over the past. I plan to lease an additional 5 kattha of land [approximately ½ acre] to increase my production of vegetables.
I am thankful and happy that this program was there to help me when I was surrounded by so many problems. I have learned a lot by attending classes and training events on how to grow my vegetables, make compost fertilizer, and protect my plants from pests through Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Men and women farmers in FRB’s Nepal-Bhatigachh program receive training in vegetable farming, seed saving and making worm compost to fertilize their fields. In addition to rice, they have mainly been growing eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, chili peppers, potatoes, leafy greens, tomatoes, and radish. Most of the farmers had better yields due to sufficient rains in the last six months, and sold their excess produce at their local market. They used the money for family health and education needs and to cover a variety of household expenses.
Nepal-Bhatigachh encompasses 9 communities, 2,603 households and 13,748 individuals
A recent internal evaluation of FRB’s Haiti-Northwest program shows that its community cooperatives are helping their members make significant improvements in their lives and livelihoods.
In an area of the country with little government presence, farmer-run cooperatives in the Northwest and Artibonite departments of Haiti help their male and female members to build more resilient households,livelihoods and communities. The program especially focuses on women in their entrepreneurial efforts so that they have greater access to credit, training, and leadership formation opportunities.
In this video, Margot Bokanga, DRC Program Manager for UMCOR, explains how the Foods Resource Bank Democratic Republic of Congo- Katanga Kamina program is addressing health and nutritional needs and spells out how a potential issue could be turned into a great strength for these communities.
Looking back at her life before skills training, Prosy, a 23-year-old woman with a disability in her left leg, wonders where she would be if not for the food security, livelihood and entrepreneurship skills training she’s received from FRB’s Uganda-Kireka Lweza program at the Lweza Rehabilitation Center for disabled youth.
Rehabilitation Center students are disproving the widespread Ugandan belief that people with disabilities are unable to care for themselves or contribute to their communities. These students are now earning incomes, growing their own food, selling or bartering their extra production, starting small business, training others and working as consultants.
FRB’s Malawi-Chingale program offers extension services and training for crop production, crop diversification, small-scale irrigation, land resource management, and livestock restocking to a community devastated by the 2006 food crisis and high rates of HIV/AIDS. Participants learn appropriate farming practices, and receive further instruction on the environment, health, child nutrition, HIV/AIDS education, community-based child care, and adult literacy.
Here, four farmers tell how the program has helped them improve their lives
One farmer’s story
Emmanuel, 47, is now closer to food security for his family thanks to context appropriate ag training and a loan of plant materials from the FRB-supported Uganda-Teso food security program. With the farming technologies he’s learned, he’s produced enough cassava and groundnuts to sell.
I was completely amazed by the chubby baby in the arms of his mother, who sat across from me at the meeting. I don't think I've ever seen such a healthy looking baby in a village in this region before. What was this woman’s secret to having such a healthy baby, while so many are malnourished?
The baby’s mother, Esther, a participant in FRB’s West Africa 1 program, explained. "In the training I received on health I learned the importance of only giving breast milk for the first six months of a baby's life." The elders in Esther’s village had told young women that their first milk wasn't good, that they needed to throw it out and instead give their newborns water, or pass them to another woman to nurse. "Now we learned that the first milk is so important to give to our babies – that is what helps them grow strong!"