By distributing meals around the globe, Rise Against Hunger meets the immediate needs of those facing hunger. But, what happens next? Over the past few years, Rise Against Hunger has increased its investment in long-term solutions to hunger and poverty, especially in the area of sustainable agriculture. We recently launched projects in Senegal and Mali, and we’re excited to share about a third new agriculture program in Zimbabwe!
Planting Seeds for Strong Communities, in partnership with Adventist Development and Relief Agency Zimbabwe, will establish a sustainable home-grown school feeding program in five schools, providing a safety net for school-age children while stimulating the local agricultural economy in the Gokwe North District.
The project will also sustain the gains generated from the Rise Against Hunger-supported Southern Africa School Feeding Initiative, which has provided food assistance following the 2016 El Nino drought. Planting Seeds for Strong Communities will focus on horticulture, indigenous poultry, sunflower, biofortified cowpeas and small grains to strengthen household nutrition and promote women’s empowerment.
Each of the five schools will establish or expand school farms to produce food for daily meals and generate income. Parent volunteers will support this initiative by working in shifts on the school farms. Through school production and procurement from sustainable local sources, the project aims to increase the diversity of foods that school students regularly consume.
Training for lead and follower farmers will promote climate-smart agricultural approaches and nutrient-rich varieties, like high-iron beans and orange flesh sweet potatoes. At farmer market schools, the farmers will learn business skills, including financial literacy, record keeping and negotiation so they can successfully connect to markets.
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