Foods Resource Bank Blog

Individual stories of transformation in Uganda

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FRB’s Uganda-West Nile program with 1250 individuals from 250 households in 10 communities, uses Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and Village Savings and Loan groups (VSLs) to help and inspire community members grow enough food for their families, earn incomes, create small businesses, get all their children into school, and envision a better future. Here are some of their stories...

03/28/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Farmers support community orphans in Mozambique

As food supplies in FRB’s Mozambique-Tete-Mutarara communities improve using the conservation farming methods offered in the program’s trainings, there is more food available for orphaned children. Orphans and orphan-headed households are among those who receive training and encouragement in this community-wide food security program. Because it requires less time to prepare and plant fields using sustainable techniques like planting in holes and conserving moisture by mulching, children who are otherwise required to help in the fields are able to attend school and even have time to play.

03/27/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Guatemala, Roberto Satisfies Passion for Farming with Training

Roberto, a longtime farmer and member of one of the communities served by FRB’s Guatemala-Four Departments program, is taking good advantage of the appropriate farming techniques he’s learned from the program. Roberto is passionate about agriculture. During his childhood and adolescence, he lived with his parents and worked with them on various private farms in Quetzaltenango. His family had to spend all they earned – about three quetzales (40 cents today) a week – so they were never able to pull themselves out of poverty.

03/25/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

As a Volunteer Ag Worker in Zambia, Amon is a Role Model to Others

“Lead by example” is the phrase which Amon keeps repeating to fellow volunteers who are dedicating part of their time to help their communities reliably grow more food. Amon, 42, is married with 4 children and takes care of his elderly mother. He is also a dedicated Agriculture Volunteer Worker (AVW) in FRB’s Zambia Eastern Program.

Amon was identified by his community to be trained as an AVW because

03/20/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Farmer-to-Farmer in Armenia

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Fremont, Michigan, is a small town with a big project. Fourteen years ago, a few farmers and their local churches started a Growing Project with Foods Resource Bank (FRB). That is, they agreed to combine resources, donate a share of their crops, and raise money to help disadvantaged farmers in other parts of the world. Since then, their project has expanded to involve 20 farmers, 10 churches, several local businesses, and many individuals and organizations.

Gloria Switzer, the leader of a local peace and justice group, is proud to be part of the Fremont Growing Project. “FRB is carrying out its mission of ensuring that food is a human right for all persons,” she writes.

Switzer has traveled with FRB to several countries, including Armenia,

03/13/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Celebrating International Women’s Day with LWR - Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about how this International Women’s Day coincides with the start of LWR’s Learning for Gender Integration (LGI) initiative, where we hope to learn how to create equal opportunities for men and women to benefit from our work in communities around the world. In part 2 I’d like to talk a bit about why a gender-integrated approach is better and what we’ve learned so far.

Talking to Men & Women Farmers
In the design stage of our three model projects — located in India, Uganda and Nicaragua —

03/08/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Celebrating International Women's Day with LWR - Part 1

Today, March 8, we observe International Women’s Day, an international holiday created to inspire women and celebrate achievements toward gender equality.

It just so happens that this year IWD coincides with the start of a very special initiative that Lutheran World Relief is undertaking toward the same goal. We are kicking off three special model projects as a part of a project we’re calling Learning for Gender Integration (LGI).

03/08/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Timor Leste, Community Dialogue Strengthens Partnership

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In FRB’s Timor Leste-Viqueque program, community leaders ensure buy-in by encouraging participants to try new techniques and seed varieties, give feedback, and express their views. Among the program’s focuses are making high-yielding corn seed available, teaching appropriate farming technologies, and coming up with effective grain storage to stop post-harvest losses to rats, insects and mold. For example, rather than hanging cobs from trees in the traditional manner, farmers are encouraged to store their grain and seed in airtight containers of various sizes such as plastic, jug-like “jerry cans,” zip-closed polyethylene “Grain Pro bags,” new or recycled drums, or in silos for water-, pest-, and fungal resistance.  No one solution has been perfect: rats have been known to gnaw through the plastic, and they haven’t been able to get the recycled oil drums clean enough even through several washings. But the collective ingenuity of the community is finding solutions to these challenges.

03/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Intercropping Corn & Beans Boosts Soil Fertility in Laos

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Trials by farmers in the northern green highlands of FRB’s Laos-Xieng Khouang program have shown that planting beans in between rows of corn plants is improving the soil and increasing yields.

An increasing population, not enough land, and deteriorating soil fertility have all contributed to local farmers’ worry, “How long will my family be able to survive off this land?” They’ve got clear evidence that beans replace the nitrogen used by corn. By intercropping beans and corn and increasing the overall organic matter in the soil, they’re improving their depleted soils and seeing higher corn yields. 

03/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Student Micro-gardening Successes in The Gambia

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The GAMHORT Micro-gardening program focuses on nutrition and income generation for the poor in urban and peri-urban areas and communities in The Gambia. Program participants are schoolchildren, disabled persons, people living with HIV/AIDS, and underemployed youth and women. They grow a variety of vegetables on table tops, using a new soilless production technology called micro-gardening. They improve their health by consuming these vegetables, and sell excess produce to tourist hotels for income.

03/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More