Saturday, September 1, 2012

Men and women farming together can eradicate hunger

Isaiah Esipisu in IPS: Three years ago, the residents of the semi-arid Yatta district in Kenya’s Eastern Province lived on food aid due to dwindling crops of maize that could not thrive because of the decreased rainfall in the area. That was until a local bishop, trying to find ways to prevent mothers from forcing their teenage daughters into prostitution, changed everything.

Now, on a Saturday evening in the district’s village of Makutano, Stephen Mwangangi, his wife, Margaret, and their two children pick bullet chilli peppers meant for export to Europe. The family is one of about 2,000 households that are part of a project called Operation Mwolio Out – Mwolio means food aid in the local Kamba language.

The project began after Bishop Titus Masika from the local Christian Mission Impact ministries saw a story on local television that showed women from the area forcing their teenage daughters to peddle sex for food or money.

…What the residents needed was sustainable employment that would lift them out of poverty. “By implementing advice from the experts and using the traditional knowledge from the residents, we have now successfully eradicated Mwolio. But this was not going to be possible without the involvement of all family members at all stages,” Masika said….

Taking bananas to market in the Mount Kenya region, shot by Neil Palmer (CIAT), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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