Cereal Banking

Happy Villages is pleased to announce that the first small part of the cereal banking project has been implemented. 
Cereal banking is a system where poor communities are assisted in storing food throughout the year.  It helps the community by reducing the boom and bust cycle that happens after harvest times.

When people are short of resources and especially when they are short of food, they often have very pressing needs to address as soon as their crops are harvested.  They have to sell nearly all of their harvest to satisfy their basic needs, with none left to use for the next planting season.  Unfortunately this drives the price down and middle-men can profit from the community’s desperation.
It also means that there are times during each year where people don’t have enough food.  Understandably, that lack of food security, or, in simple terms, being secure that you will have food every day, was one of the highest priorities identified by Lieta community in the Participatory Rural Appraisal.  

Happy Villages is planning a cereal banking project to address the problem.  The first step was undertaken recently.  The agriculture committee selected 53 farmers for the project (those with land and also willing to donate part of their harvest back to the project).
Happy Villages donated certified improved maize and bean seeds and for each pack of seeds given, the farmers will donate a portion of their harvest back. Most farmers were given two packets of seeds (which would harvest almost fifteen 90kgs bags of maize) and will be required to donate three 90kgs back to the project. The storage and distribution method for the donated food will be finalised before harvest.  

The commitment to donate back is important for sustainability.  Happy Villages is starting a program that can continue indefinitely given the appropriate level of commitment from the Lieta community.  We are hopeful that the cereal bank will benefit the entire community and help to address and reduce food insecurity for generations to come.
We are currently seeking donations for the construction of a storage facility, and other costs associated with this project.