Foods Resource Bank Blog

Central American coffee farmers vulnerable to climate change

A fungus called la roya, or coffee rust, is creeping throughout Central America, threatening livelihoods for millions of coffee farmers. FRB’s Central American programs are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the impact of la roya on the coffee industry. Farmer’s reliant on coffee production are challenged to reconsider a new path in life. To learn more, check out this article from the New York Times, “A Coffee Crop Withers.” Or, to make a difference, visit Equal Exchange, a fair trade organization that provides opportunities to support coffee farmers in Central America. 

06/18/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

FRB's Gamboula program in the midst of religious violence

Newsletter: 
Tags: 

FRB's Central African Republic-Gamboula program faces unrest as a result of recent religious violence. This article, from The Evangenlical Covenant Church, provides the story from the perspective of Roy and Aleta Danforth, current leaders of the CEFA project. Despite feelings of hopelessness in the midst of tragedy, the Danforth's are reminded of love after visiting some of their friends at a refugee camp in CAR. See the original blog post below. 

All of the Fulani friends of Covenant missionaries Roy and Aleta Danforth have been forced to flee the Central African Republic in fear for their lives due to the religious violence that is tearing apart the African nation.

06/05/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

FRB's Haiti-Northwest program faces many local challenges

Please pray for the people of Haiti as they struggle with the effects of multiple droughts and resultant severe food shortages.  This article from the BBC covers another aspect of desperation from lack of prospects: risking their lives on crowded boats as they seek work elsewhere. It mentions the area of Haiti where FRB's Haiti-Northwest program is working to help farmer cooperatives achieve food security in the face of natural disaster.

Every year thousands of Haitians risk their lives trying to make the perilous sea voyage from their country to one of its wealthier Caribbean neighbours in a bid for a better life.

They cram themselves into small boats which are often far from seaworthy. They run the risk of capsizing or being picked up by coastguard patrols.

Many feel this is their only option in a country which is not only the poorest in the western hemisphere but which was further destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 2010.

People from all over Haiti head to the north-west of the island to get onto these boats to leave their homeland, but most are from this impoverished region itself.

06/03/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Guatemala-Totonicapan Nebaj Winners of Photo Contest on Family Agriculture

Newsletter: 

A photo from FRB and CWS' Guatemala-Totonicapan-Nebaj program has won a photo contest on Family Agriculture! See the orginal blog post below in both Spanish and English. 

¡Felicidades a CIEDEG y a las mujeres ixiles en Nebaj, El Quiché, Guatemala!

La foto de las mujeres y las jóvenes sembrando un árbol de aguacate representa plenamente la Agricultura Familiar, tal como muchas personas reconocieron en las votaciones abiertas y eso ha sido confirmado por el jurado.  

05/22/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Equality in West Africa

While all humans may be created equal, they certainly do not have equal opportunities and access to food, water, healthcare and income. Watch this series of short videos by World Renew on their West Africa 1 Program and see how your life might be different had you been born in West Africa.

04/29/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

As simple as soap: An FRB reflection for Earth Day

In celebratation of Earth Day, here’s a look at some programs that are improving community health through soap.

Development is complex, and is never as easy as 1-2-3. It must take into account many human factors – our diversity, experience, present realities, personalities, cultures – but that’s not all.  Climate change, natural disasters, societal pressures, politics, global markets, environmental degradation from industry or local practices: all have an influence on how our program participants can adapt to change and adopt practices that will help them break the cycle of poverty. Even a seemingly simple practice like using soap promote health and hygiene may not be so simple for some people in our world.

04/22/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Uganda, a gender-equitable approach to farming

FRB’s Uganda-Busoga program is based on the premise that the food security of smallholder maize farmers increases when husbands and wives learn to work together toward the goal of increasing their maize production. Traditionally, women and men have farmed separately, with women’s efforts going toward caring for the whole family, and men raising money that sometimes went to the family but most often went to meet their individual needs. This program encourages both spouses to think about the family as a unit that needs to be cared for first.

04/21/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Local cooperatives fill many important roles in Haitian Communities

Because there is little government presence where FRB’s Haiti-Northwest program is working, local people understand the need to organize for the protection, development and growth of their communities. The twelve program communities have created cooperatives which address the varied needs and concerns of its members.

Training Co-ops provide training on many topics, among them appropriate agricultural techniques like intercropping as a way to take the best advantage of available land and ensure that, if one crop fails, the others might survive. More farmers are planting peanuts, congo beans (pigeon peas), and root crops like manioc (cassava) and sweet potato because of their excellent survival rates.

04/16/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Buying less soap but using more: soap making in West Africa

To put into practice what they had learned in trainings on health and hygiene, and to get around the high cost of soap that stood in the way of fully adopting the measures, participants in FRB’s West Africa 1 program are making their own soap, saving money, and earning income for their groups.

Community members understood how their health and food security are connected to hygiene. However, they were not putting into practice what they had learned about the importance of washing their hands, because soap was just too expensive. The program responded to people’s request for more knowledge by organizing a training on soap making,

04/14/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Kenya, farmers report results from conservation farming, irrigation and animals

In the semi-arid Ndeiya region of Kenya, FRB's food security program focuses on resilience and coping with recurrent drought through alternatives such as conservation agriculture and raising small "pass on the gift" animals - rabbits, chickens, goats -- for protein or to sell for income. Participants are female-headed and orphan-headed households, landless people, internally displaced persons, children, and people living with HIV. On-site farmer trainings and exchange visits promote no-till farming, improving soil fertility and water retention with manure and crop residues, and recycling household water for watering vegetables.

Grace N., a farmer who'd had to resort to low-paying, menial work in an effort to support her family, is back to farming and has benefited from the loan of a dairy goat and improved, indigenous chicks

04/11/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More