Thanks to mild temperatures, access to abundant water, and the hard work of cooperative members, the gardens in all of CREATE!’s partner communities are thriving! Some cooperative groups had a harvest of over 550 pounds of vegetables in January alone.
Each day, cooperative members gather at their garden site to transplant seedlings, water growing crops, and harvest vegetables that are ready to eat. Additionally, CREATE! field technicians lead weekly training sessions in advanced agricultural activities, including planning for future garden activities. In the community of Ouarkhokh, cooperative members planned and planted their garden beds with vegetables popular during upcoming religious festivals – including tomatoes, onions, peppers, okra, and lettuce. Tailoring their production to local peak demand helps to increase profits for the cooperative.
Most cooperative groups sell the majority of their vegetable crops – typically around 80 percent – within their communities. Before the arrival of CREATE! in these communities, many families were rarely able to purchase or eat fresh vegetables. Now, women throughout our partner communities are able to serve healthy, inexpensive, and high-quality vegetables to their children. Women in all of CREATE!’s partner communities report more than a 100 percent increase in the number of vegetables that they are able to serve each day as part of their families’ main meal. In addition, the sale of vegetables contributes greatly to household income.
Mane Kebe of Fass Kane says, “Now that I can produce my own vegetables and chicken rather than buying them from the market, our family has secure access to food.”