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Monday, March 11, 2013

Pakistan: Gardens for the ‘Landless’

In the West, where the living we earn typically has no direct relationship with the ground we stand upon, we could never really understand the pain of being landless.

Across the developing world, where most families keep body and soul together by growing food, those without enough land to produce most crops are in a special category of poverty. The instability, insecurity, and vulnerability they experience doesn’t ever let up, not for a day. Creative solutions are needed to make their situation more viable, so that the children of landless families can at least have enough stability and health to possibly make a better life for themselves when they grow up.

HOPE International Development Agency has been working with 70 landless women in Muzaffargarh and Jhang, Pakistan, over the past four months to promote kitchen gardening. These women and their families learned how to make a small kitchen garden work on the property that they have, typically an extremely small plot only large enough for a small hut. These are gardens that can produce a lot of food in minimal space, vegetables like bitter gourd, beans, ash gourd, spinach, coriander, and lady finger. The women are being taught to prepare the land they have for best results, cultivate it intensively, and reduce losses by pests.

This is about making the best of a difficult situation. We’ve found the women can improve their lives substantially through using what they do possess more efficiently. It’s making a difference.

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