The three-year Project for Promoting Appropriate Technology for Smallholders to Increase Food Security among Indigenous Peoples in Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), known as ‘Annâdya’, was recently evaluated as it nears completion in January 2015. While final analysis is yet to be completed, this article highlights preliminary findings of the evaluation of the project impact in relation to food security and nutrition of poor indigenous communities and ethnic minorities in the rural areas of Ratanakiri province in Cambodia and Attapeu province in Lao PDR.
To increase food production to feed the growing population, the international non-governmental organization (INGO) Solidaridad is investing in enterprise farming, focusing on improved land use for higher productivity while conserving the ecosystem for human and environmental well-being. Its mission is to help farmers feed the world by producing bigger harvests using less land and water and fewer inputs.
The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a trade union in India with 1.9 million women members who work in the informal economy. Two thirds of SEWA members are from rural areas and their primary occupation is agriculture and animal husbandry. Many of them are from small and marginal farmer households who face many problems including low productivity, high input costs and crop pests and disease.
The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is working with small and marginal farmers who have very little land and income, lack access to quality seeds, fertilizer, and are poorly linked to markets. Such farmers cannot afford agriculture tools such as tractors or threshers and have to rent these from richer farmers. Sometimes, the equipment is not available, even when they are willing to pay a high sum to rent it, resulting in low yields on their farms.
To address this issue, the SEWA Agriculture Campaign initiated Krishi Sadhanalay – Agriculture Tools and Equipment Library, run by village farmer development groups. Nine Krishi Sadhanalayas promoted by SEWA are working successfully in India’s Gujarat State.
La Lay Ha is a 34 year old widow with three children living in Viet Nam. Years ago, she was unable to grow enough rice to feed her family and would buy it to prevent a shortage. In 2010, she learned about a more effective strategy to fertilize her rice crop called fertilizer deep placement (FDP). She decided to try it given the product came together with training provided by the International Development Enterprises (iDE). Today, the same land produces enough rice to last an entire year for her family and the excess is given to neighbours and she encourages other families to follow her and use FDP.