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Monday
Aug232010

August’s featured project: Sustainable Food Security through a Farmer Field School and Home Gardens in Kenya

CSDi and Kenyan partner CODMI have launched a project designed to increase food security for 120 families through a Farmer Field School, and a Nutrition and Home Garden Program.

Farmer Field Schools are a farmer-to farmer extension programs which help to disseminate up-to-date farming techniques to farmers in isolated villages that otherwise wouldn't have access to this information. These farmers frequently use dated, unproductive farming techniques that prevent them from growing enough food for their families.

A second major cause of malnutrition in developing nations is a simple lack of knowledge of nutrition; mothers unaware that children need diversity of food: Staples plus fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, and nuts, beans and meat for protein. So the purpose of this program is to begin teaching 120 families how to program nutritious meals into their diet, and how they can grow a majority of those nutritious foods right on their property.

In a series of workshops these families will actually plant home gardens using a palette of fruits and vegetables developed by a nutritionist who specializes in working in remote villages. Over the period of two years these families will receive support from agricultural field staff and will learn how to care for their garden, protect it from pests, and how to plan nutritious meals using garden produce.

Scientific studies have shown that home gardens can provide 60% of leafy vegetables, and between 20% and 50% of all fruits and vegetables consumed by households. Improved nutrition boosts the body's immune system protecting children against infection. That's what gardens have shown evidence of significantly reducing the number of malnourished children in impoverished communities. Many home gardeners are also able to sell surplus fruits and vegetables and increase family income.

This project will help 300 young children receive the nutrition that they need so that they can more regularly attend school -- and excel in their educational experience.

Please follow this link to learn more about this project and project manager John Bosco Odongo.

Sincerely,

Tim Magee

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