Foods Resource Bank Blog

Amaranth Porridge Recipe

Amaranth is a grain similar to wheat or maize. While the plant has grown as a native species in communities around the world for hundreds of years, it was only recently recognized as being valuable for those living in poverty. Many of FRB's programs are training farmers on the cultivation and nutritional uses of amaranth. These include the Nicaragua-Conquista and Nicaragua-Farmer programs. 

12/19/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Hope Through Water Harvesting in Palestine

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With a new cistern built with Palestine-Westbank 2 program support, Hisham, a farmer in the West Bank, will be able to plant 55 new grape vines, increasing his overall production of vegetables, fruit trees and grapes by five times. Because the new cistern was built in the dry summer months, it has yet to be filled by next winter’s rains. However, Hisham has already prepared it with a system of pipes to capture rainwater from the roof of his modest two-room dwelling. 

12/17/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Ramona's Story in the Dominican Republic

The gentle breeze rustled through the trees on Ramona’s porch in the Dominican Republic as I sat watching her bright eyes, animated voice and gesturing hands explain the preschool and adult literacy classes she leads “right here on this porch”.

12/14/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Mozambican Farmers Motivated by FRB Visitor from Kenya

It is well known that farmers absorb a lot of knowledge from each other during crosslearning events such as exchange visits, farmer field days, presentations and demonstrations.  It was not surprising, therefore, that when five FRB visitors from Kenya and the United States came to Mozambique to the Tete-Mutarara program in August 2012, ideas were flowing!

12/12/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

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