Stories From The Field: Food Security
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Transitioning field schools to safe, socially distanced learning environments using the FAO’s Farmer Field School COVID Recommendations

In the Casamance region of Senegal, lies the second biggest city, Ziguinchor. Plagued with arid soils and an inescapably long dry season, the region largely relies on an import-based food system for a majority of their needs, including fruits and vegetables. With COVID-19 disrupting critical food distribution systems, DIG’s farmer field school network has been ramping up production to fill in the gaps. In 2019, Development in Gardening, with support from Rise Against Hunger, The University of Washington Senegal Research

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Finding ways to limit post-harvest loss during COVID

The immediate effects of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition in Kenya cannot be under estimated. The restrictions in movement, closure of hotels and schools which act as a market for many farmers, and lack of supply for farm inputs pose a critical challenge to almost every farmer. The effect is much more devastating to low income households and communities that already face serious challenges such as HIV, drought or flooding and poor access to essential services. DIG’s program that

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Maureen Oboch – Orange Sweet Potato Entrepreneur

“DIG brought me up from a level no one else would have done, I leant a number of techniques that have enables me to succeed even in other projects, I have done all these because DIG opened my potential in farming, DIG connected me to Ministry of Agriculture and I got connected further to CIP. For sure my life has improved beyond what anyone expected.” – Maureen Oboch Maureen Oboch first joined DIG’s program back in 2016. She is from

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DIG Batwa Farmers: Katamas and Hope

This Batwa family used to beg for dregs, feeding their 5 children the leftover sorghum from a locally produced drink only once per day. When the couple joined the DIG program, they were skeptical of the outcome as many NGO’s had come to their village for projects that were short-term.

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DIG Deeper: Batwa Program Entering Year 2

After getting on the ground in November 2016, DIG spent two months undergoing an intensive site assessment through a baseline study, stakeholder analysis, committee and leadership meetings, crop viability study, building a team, and fine tuning the implementation model.

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A Young Mother Stepping Up

Through a partnership with the Lwala Community Alliance (LCA) in North Kamagambo, Kenya, DIG met and started working with a young woman named Eunice. LCA had been assisting her through their Out of School Mentoring for Girls program. Recently widowed and only 26 years old, Eunice was left to care single-handedly for her four children, ages ten, four, two and one.  She has a lot stacked against her.  She knows that at any moment her late husband’s brothers could legally

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Growing Up Resilient

Zakayo Mikwanga is recognized as one of DIG’s most successful home gardeners. He proudly harvests kale, carrots, and other vegetables every day of the year without interruption. “I am a busy person,” he laughs. “Unlike before, my family is learning new techniques as we enjoy the benefits of having a garden with many different vegetables.”   Growing up, Zakayo had a father who, though poor, valued a good education – a rare privilege in 1960s Kenya. Zakayo would take his

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The Wechaya HIV Support Group

It’s an early, cool Wednesday morning; the sun is still low in the sky, but the chorus of cicadas and crickets reminds us of the heat that’s coming. The Wechaya HIV Support Group is meeting in their community garden. Quiet talking and laughing can be heard as women dressed in vibrantly patterned skirts make their way down the narrow cow paths and gather in the shade of a broad mango tree.   Organized through DIG’s Mobile Farmer Field School program,

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Why Home Gardens are Important!

DIG first started doing home gardens in 2006 thanks to Koumba! While Koumba was being inspired by DIG’s training, we were being inspired by her.    It was she who asked for and received DIG’s first Home Garden. She asked if we could help her with some of the initial seed money to get a garden started in the small space behind her home. Koumba knew she could feed her family from this otherwise discarded space and would use her

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What it Takes to End Hunger

By Maggie Black   Vida Aooko Bitta, 30 years old and mother of four, is one of a DIG (Development in Gardening) team of community facilitators in Rongo District, Western Kenya. What she and the team are trying to do is transform the diet, improve the well-being and fill the pocket-books of local farming families. Many of these are among the 240 million Africans who regularly go hungry. Vida’s home is just a mile away from the Lwala community hospital

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Story from the Field: Wilfreda Anyango

Wilfreda Anyango is a mother of 8 children from Oboch Village of Kameji in North Kamagambo, Kenya. Wilfreda has to work extra hard to supplement the little income her husband is getting as a casual laborer in a nearby school since she has such a large family. Wilfreda joined DIG’s sustainable agriculture training because she is a member of the Umama Salama Group (Lwala Community Alliance Women’s group who work as community health workers to encourage women to give birth

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DIG ‘Garden TV’ in Kenya

By Catherine Magill, DIG Program Coordinator When you go on safari in Africa, and you’re relaxing on the porch of your tent watching the hippos and crocodiles in the river or the zebra and gazelles on the plain in front of you, your safari hosts will jokingly say that you are watching ‘Bush TV’. For those without access to safaris, DIG is undertaking to launch a new channel called ‘Garden TV’. Last week at Crossroads Springs Institute, a primary school

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