Family farms: Sustainable food security

Juana and her neighbors planting seeds to germinate vegetable plants

Food insecurity is increasing

The latest report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on undernourishment in Latin America and the Caribbean, shows an increase between 2014 to 2018, from 38 million people to 42.5 million people suffering from hunger.

Achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) means achieving a world without hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in any of its forms. In recent decades, the Latin American and Caribbean region has made significant progress in the exercise of the right to adequate food and the protection of the health of all its inhabitants. However, our current period of low economic growth, severe climatic events, and unsustainable modes of food production and consumption, put at risk the positive results that have been achieved by governments of each country, institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Diverse family farming improves nutrition and food supply

Given this, our Food and Nutrition Program is creating food security for more than 200 families in the rural communities where we work. One of the program’s recent activities was  the distribution of seeds:  tomatoes, chiltoma, carrots, maraculla, butter ayote and cucumber, among other vegetables, to support planting healthy fruits and vegetables for a balanced and accessible diet. At the end of the harvest, seeds collected for future sowing are stored by the families, contributing to the sustainability of the farms.

“Previously, when I did not have my family garden, we only harvested traditional grains such as corn and wheat. Today, when we have our own family farm, we are harvesting a variety of healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables.  I am currently producing  tomatoes, chiltoma, yucca, cucumber, chives and hibiscus flower. Our table is now full of vegetables to cook delicious dishes. The seed support from VL  has diversified our crops, something we could never have done on our own”

Juana Artola Berrios

Providing seed diversity is one of the many parts of sustainable farming that is missing in places like Nicaragua. Diversity contributes to reducing poor nutrition in our communities.

”Today our family is eating healthy and we have more routine meal times.  The idea that we save seeds from what we produce has been life changing.  We can be more self reliant,  and not so dependent on the organization to give  us seeds.  We have become more self-sufficient and capable of making our own decisions in future harvests about what we grow.”