SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS IN MALAWI:
GIFT’s first provision of sewing machines to the Daughters of Wisdom in Malawi was so well received, that there was an overflow of demand. The related vocational training, business training and teaching of illiterate women in reading and math has since expanded to a group of 30 participants. The group is sewing children’s clothes and women’s clothes and will sell them so that they can earn some income for the survival of their families.
Separately, the Daughters of Wisdom continue planting sweet potatoes and leaves in order to encourage the Malawi people to grow the crop as a supplement to Maize, the staple food of Malawi. The Sisters are multiplying their vine cuttings through aggressive propagation and selling them to enable people from Sitima to grow the crop, so they won’t go hungry in times of drought or the shortage of rain.
GIFT’s strategy is to identify and share highly efficacious projects – such as these two — that can be multiplied and shared for expanded impacts.
FILLING IN FOR THE REDUCED AVAILABILITY AND HIGHER COST OF WHEAT AND FERTILIZER GLOBALLY
Updating an item we referenced earlier: reduced wheat availability is expected to continue impacting poor communities globally due to the war in Ukraine, such that GIFT’s work with partners to grow sweet potatoes is yielding more impact than ever. Even if communities can get wheat, the cost is increasing. Our partner in the Philippines, Ecogenesis, has recently produced baked goods using sweet potato to replace a good portion of wheat. The community loves it — and loves all of those who have made this possible, as noted in the message they just sent us in the green plate below.
As global wheat availability continues to be curtailed due to the war in Ukraine, GIFT is helping partners grow sweet potatoes to replace much of the wheat required for baked goods. Our partner in the Philippines, Ecogenesis, sent a baked-goods message in the green plate.
OFSP IS A HIGHLY RESILIENT, CLIMATE-SMART, NUTRITION-SMART AND WATER-SMART DUAL CROP
Highly sustainable orange flesh sweet potatoes (OFSP) not only produce the most nutrition per acre or hectare of any crop, they also require just 1/3 the water that wheat requires to grow. OFSP tubers have one of the least water footprints among all crops – and this doesn’t even factor in OFSP’s tremendously healthy edible leaves, which are grown with no additional water. It’s an amazing dual crop.
The nutrition-smart, climate-smart and water-smart OFSP is becoming a critically important crop for farmers to grow, as more and more places in the world are suffering from droughts and water scarcity.
OFSP is also the one crop that can yield more food organically than via traditional farming, which is a feature that can help reduce dependency on fertilizers and protect soils and waterways. As the war in Ukraine continues to reduce the availability of and increase the cost of fertilizer, this can be so helpful.
GIFT CONTNUES ADVOCATING AND EDUCATING ON THE EFFICACY OF OFSP AND THEIR EDIBLE LEAVES, DOMESTICALLY AND GLOBALLY
GIFT has been educating institutions on all the merits of OFSP and their Edible Leaves. This includes working with the Church to advance this high-impact social justice solution globally, plus bringing Beauregard variety OFSP to Rhode Island College, its various departments, its students and its cafeteria to equip future leaders to harvest all the amazing and sustainable benefits of this dual crop.
GIFT provided OFSP seed and information on all the incredible properties of OFSP to Rhode Island College
GIFT’S RESILIENT WORK IN HAITI CONTINUES TO SPREAD
Through GIFT’s support, a Haitian agronomist at Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve started a project of Beauregard OFSP and Leaves for distribution in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.
“We are in the process of preparing new cuttings in order to spread this new variety with neighboring farmers in the village of Nan Panyol. OFSP is also recommended to the farmers for protection against erosion. This will help them build resilience to the changing climate,” noted Jane Wynne.