Stories of Change
Lissett stands in front of the rain gauge, holding records. Photo: Alex Morse / FRB
CWS programs, implemented in partnership with Foods Resource Bank, aim to provide rural communities – especially women and youth – with access to technical assistance, training and economic opportunities.
Source: CWS Annual Report 2017
Diversification: drought insurance in Nicaragua
Lissett says her diversified vegetable garden makes her feel stronger and more able to cope with crises. “We had a drought two years ago that affected all of us a lot. It made us poorer, but it also made us more intentional about growing more foods besides corn and beans, and finding other ways to make money.”
Her family had had financial challenges when she was growing up, so she was glad to join the program and improve her agricultural skills as a way to generate additional income. She’s been putting into practice the soil conservation techniques she’s learned from CWS local partner CIEETS, and has built a water reservoir for irrigating her plants. “The training we receive helps us understand better how plants, soil and water all work together as part of one system.”
The drought made her get serious about planting a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to reduce the likelihood that she would lose everything if it happens again. She is now growing various citrus and other fruits, quiquisque (a starchy corm similar to taro root), banana, guava, yuca (cassava), sweet pepper and papaya. She’s also raising chickens. As she puts it, “My diversified plot ensures that I’ll have food to feed my family, and even have some surplus to sell at the market.”
In addition to diversifying her crops, Lissett also manages a rain gauge to inform her and her community when there is sufficient moisture to plant crops.
“My community and I thank all the people who collaborate with us to improve our situation. Rest assured that we are taking advantage of these resources that come to us through CIEETS,” says Lissett.
This story was originally published by Foods Resource Bank here. CWS and Foods Resource Bank partner to support established local organizations like CIEETS across Latin America and the Caribbean as they help communities achieve food security.