Community Agriculture

Community Agriculture

Teach one person to garden and the whole community eats.

Have you ever planted and grown your own vegetables?

JAM’s agricultural programming is critical in aiding rural communities to feed themselves and ultimately, in providing a way out of abject poverty.

Our programmes encourage many individuals across our African countries of operations to plant community gardens, where we are equipping and empowering them with modern agricultural techniques. Along with this training, tools, seeds and seedlings are also provided to get them started.

Onions, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Amaranthus, Watermelon, Carrots, Garlic, Nakati, Akeyo, Malakwang, Otigo, Okra are among the varieties of vegetable seeds selected for distribution according to their nutritional value. We also distribute the tools needed to ensure gardens can be cultivated successfully. Tools distributed include hoes, forked hoes, rakes, double axe, digging bar, spades, watering cans, wheelbarrows, and plastic water tanks. Other equipment and components are also provided to facilitate making compost, irrigation and container farming.

Community Gardens contribute to improved food and nutrition security. These projects also support the development of small-scale organic gardens as a social enterprise to generate income and to establish a livelihood for vulnerable communities.

JAM collaborates closely with nutrition and key stakeholders to identify vulnerable beneficiaries. JAM engages with vulnerable communities and supports learning through an exhibition community garden to share learning, skills and grow foods. JAM supports kitchen gardens and trains beneficiaries on climate resilience and post-harvest practices to ensure a continued source of vegetables in the lean dry season. On completion, JAM aims to hand over this garden to community leaders to champion vegetable growth and production initiatives.

Utilising JAM’s robust Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system we will ensure minimum standards are met. Start-up workshop with key stakeholders and community leaders will be held to ensure feedback is included at the outset and continues.  Monitoring will include household visits and direct liaison with beneficiaries to identify and address challenges and any gaps,  as well as monitor progress. Lessons and data recorded will be shared with relevant parties to ensure transparency and accountability to all.

Our Community Agriculture programmes are tailored to align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), those of No PovertyZero HungerGood Health and Well BeingGender Equality and Decent Work and Economic Growth.

We focus our Community Agriculture programmes on rural communities and refugee settlements within Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Our programmes provide urgent life-saving interventions and direct assistance to meet immediate needs.

For the ‘At Risk’

  • Community / school vegetable gardens
  • Value-chain systems – crop and fishing nets, livestock management
  • Livelihood training

For the ‘Stable’

  • Cash for assets
  • Community / school farms
  • Value-chain systems – crop and fishing nets, livestock management
  • Livelihood training
  • Small farmer market – small holder agriculture market systems (SAMs)
  • Farmer service centres – as specifically defined

You too can help restore hope by partnering with us to provide rural and vulnerable communities with the skills and equipment needed  to produce nutrient-rich food for themselves.

A LIVELIHOOD FOR EVERYONE

South Sudan

Anna Nyawichar of Unity State, South Sudan cannot hide her excitement when she talks about the vegetable gardening project that she and 22 other women are engaged in. Unlike in the past when gardening was a preserve of men, now women are participating as equals.

Anna and her group are returnees, once displaced by recurring conflict in Unity State, South Sudan. The displacement saw them residing in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site being run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Anna and her fellow community members have since returned to their homes in Kaljak Payam and are now engaged in vegetable crop production as part of a JAM Food Security and Livelihoods Programme. JAM provides vegetable kits, training, and continuous guidance on better farming.

The setup is used as a teaching site where beneficiaries receive skills on how to care for their crops through different stages. Anna and her group manage the demonstration plot.

Post-Harvest handling of surplus vegetables

Imvepi Refugee Settlement, Uganda

JAM initiated vegetable cultivation through kitchen gardening with the objective to ensure a steady supply of nutrient-dense, quick maturing vegetables to families, especially children under 5 who are at risk of sliding into malnutrition. The project provided training for settled Refugees from South Sudan, who were later equipped with seeds and tools to engage in kitchen gardening. After more than two years of the successful introduction of vegetable production and consumption in Imvepi refugees’ settlement in Uganda, JAM is moving to the next level of safe handling and preservation of vegetable to boost supply during the dry season.

Vegetable production has been stable throughout the main production season in 2019 and most beneficiaries have recorded a surplus. Families have been selling the surplus vegetable and utilizing the income to supplement other basic needs including milling of maize, purchase of soap, clothing, and other essentials.

However, the time has come for the beneficiaries to preserve the surplus to ensure they have a continuous supply of vegetables during the dry season. Training and demonstration of the drying and storage process has begun at the Imvepi Refugee Reception Center. The primary method used is sun drying, where vegetables are chopped and spread out on a clean mat and left to dry in the sunlight. When all the moisture has been removed, the vegetables are packed in breathable gunny bags and hung in the house.

The dry season that begins in January and lasts until March will be a major test period for the newly introduced vegetable preservation method.

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