A recent report from the Global Network Against Food Crises indicates that by the end of 2019, 135 million people in 55 countries and territories were suffering from acute food insecurity.
Regarding the Central American region, in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, even before the pandemic, food and nutritional insecurity had increased, reaching 4.4 million people. As a result of the pandemic, it is estimated that this crisis could see numbers doubled, due to the adverse effects on overall food production.
In El Salvador, the measures adopted to combat COVID-19 have undoubtedly deepened the food crisis in the country and mainly in its most impoverished regions like Morazán, which holds the highest poverty rate.
We see the present moment as a critical turning point for poor families and therefore resolutely support their initiatives to produce their own food. One of the main obstacles however for thousands of Salvadoran families, is that they don’t have an abundant access to agricultural land, which is why this project favors the cultivation of short-cycle small family gardens and farms as an alternative with a high potential for viability.
The Women’s Network of Morazan (RED) and the Youth Development Association of Morazan (AJUDEM)
To identify the families a questionnaire was created to collect basic information about each family group interested in participating in the project. The RED and AJUDEM helped to create and conduct this extensive investigation throughout Morazán through the use of brief visits, WhatsApp messages and phone calls.
Both these organizations are also very much involved in the development and logistics of the project’s training component and once the families receive said training and resources, they will also accompany them every step of the way as they practice at home.
Most importantly, the RED and AJUDEM will no doubt evolve and strengthen their organizational capacities through the collective motivation they give one another as they share their experiences amongst themselves and with other communities and interested groups.
A group of young, enthusiastic agricultural experts, either by study or experience, is proving key to developing an effective and sustainable educational program. Their technical knowledge will ensure that families’ are able to develop farm management systems that guarantee soils and crops receive exactly what they need for optimal growth and productivity.
Their input will also be invaluable as the various teaching methods are designed and their primary role is to co-facilitate the workshops, which will be transmitted to the families via videos, audios and printed guides. From start to finish, the agronomists will provide ecological monitoring and guidance for each farm project to improve the quality of soil, seeds and plants.
Voices on the Border
We will coordinate the execution of the project with the different actors involved. We will also find funding, manage the financials and make sure that the required materials and supplies are purchased. As always, we will also document and share the project process, results and achievements via our various social media accounts and blog.
What about the Coronavirus?
Considering that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, we have instituted a special security and safety protocol that all participants, including facilitators, logistical support and VOICES’ staff and volunteers must follow.
Ways to Get Involved?
Follow us on social media and our blog to receive updates about the project and then share what you learn with your friends and families.
This project is currently seeking funding.
This is a multi-faceted project that seeks to motivate and support rural families, in their lucha to survive the looming food crisis, through the organic cultivation of family and collective vegetable, herb and edible leaf gardens and farms, in communities throughout Morazán.
Who is involved?
Voices on the Border, the Morazán Women’s Network, the Youth Association for the Development of Morazán, local agronomists and university students obtaining sustainable agriculture degrees from the Technical School of the National University (UES) in Morazán.
Where will this take place?
The families hail from different communities within the municipalities of San Carlos, San Isidro, San Simón, Gualococti, Meanguera, Jocoaitique Joateca, Torola, Osicala and Delicias de Concepción. Training and development will occur exclusively in Ciudad Segundo Montes.
How will this happen?
The Base Christian Community of Ciudad Segundo Montes has graciously donated the grounds of the Temple of Heroes y Martyrs, located in San Luis, Meanguera, as the site for our “model farm” where we will demonstrate the various agricultural techniques and technologies. This site will also serve as a place where the agronomists can conduct necessary research and test new methods alongside traditional ones.
The family farms will be cultivated with agro-ecological methods, that is, without the use of synthetic fertilizers or toxic agrochemicals, therefore, theoretical and practical training will be an important component of the project.
Some families will grow farms on their own land and some will them grow collectively in small groups, this of course depends on the space, the needs and the wants of the participants.
In the end, all will teach and all will learn.
- To expand previous knowledge and teach new concepts.
- To promote the value of growing one’s own food.
- To create sustainable systems that encourage family and community participation.
- To improve crop productivity, enhance nutritional value and increase yields.
The training program, which will be facilitated by the our awesome agronomists and students is a fundamental part of the project. A small select group of women representing each municipality will receive be present for the training and in turn replicate what they learn with the families where they live. This, is in addition to the resources that will be produced from the workshops themselves.
- The importance of the Family Garden; Healthy Food for Healthy Living
- Proper Soil Preparation
- Organic Soil Fertilization
- Pest and Disease Control
- Establishing Seedbeds and Direct Sowing
- Agronomic Monitoring
At the model farm, the entire process of growing will be implemented and documented. Meanwhile, the participants will simultaneously follow along performing the same steps in their own projects, with their respective families.
Visit our other current project: Ensuring Education During COVID-19