In Mali's Bandiagara District, food security is a major concern. Community members work hard, farming millet, peanuts, sorghum, cowpeas, and other crops, and yet decreasing rainfall and increasing pest problems have caused harvests to diminish. In most years, most families cannot harvest enough food to last them through the year until the next harvest. Cash income is very difficult to come by in the villages, so young people must then go to the cities to look for work and send money home so their families can purchase food. This exodus separates family members from each other, in addition to exposing the migrants to hazards and hardships of metropolitan life and diminishing the vitality of cultural life in the villages.
Villages in the area have proposed several solutions to the problem of food insecurity, including grain banks, gardens and orchards, and agricultural innovations, including anti-erosion dikes, improved crop varieties and natural regeneration of trees in the fields. Tandana is pleased to support these important initiatives that help villages provide for more of their food needs.
In highland Ecuador, quantity of food is not as great a concern, but nutritional value and variety can be issues. We have supported a number of schools and communities in creating or improving nutritional gardens.