Peoples’ health is also linked to proper nutrition. Improved agricultural production is the key to improving food security in this region.
Current Agricultural Practices
Local farmers grow maize, millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes, cassava, peanuts, beans, lentils, soybeans and sunflowers. These are grown in small plots for subsistence with very little to sell for income.
Caring Partners Global (CPG) and Matangwe Community Health Development Program (MCHDP) have demonstration gardens for crops including a variety of local fruits and vegetables. These crops include sweet potatoes, cassava, a variety of traditional greens, bananas, mangoes, oranges, lemons, passion fruit, guavas and sunflower. The purpose of these demonstration gardens is to provide a hands-on example for local farmers and community members. Our grass-roots extension model is available to encourage local farmers to diversify their gardens and to improve food security.
The harvest from CPG’s demonstration gardens supplements our school lunch program and patient meals. The gardens provide a wider variety of foods than are locally available and help to offset the cost of running these programs. Some of the perishable seasonal fruit and vegetables are also sold locally when those supplies exceed our projects’ needs.
CPG recognizes the important role agriculture plays in the future health and sustainability of the region. Future opportunities include:
Working with experts within the department of agriculture to implement strategies for improved food security
Providing education and support to local farmers in better crop management practices
Increasing the size and yield of the CPG crops to fully support the Hospital and food programs needs
Begin to integrate more drought resistant crops within the region
Continue to focus on water retention and access to water for irrigation during periods of drought
Add an additional tractor that can be rented out by local farmers