What is World Food Day?
2014 World Food Day Theme: Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth
The theme for 2014 is family farming, something that is very important to Mano a Mano with our programs in Bolivia. Today, on World Food Day, we wanted to share a few stories from Bolivian farmers that have benefited from partnering with Mano a Mano.
Both of these stories were first shared at Mano a Mano’s 2011 Spring Gala, where the goal was to build a agricultural water project for Bolivian farm families in Collpana, Bolivia (which was completed and dedicated in December 2013).
From 2 Bags of Onions to 50
Mano a Mano built 153 water retention ponds in the region of Omereque. Now farmers are producing crops that are doubling to tripling their income. Mario F., an Omereque farmer, told us that before his land had water, he harvested 2 bags of onions each year. The first year after the water ponds were completed he harvested 50 bags.
Walking for Ten Hours through the Mountains to Say Thanks
Sandro is a 39-year-old farmer whose entire farm plot is the size of a small city lot. Because Sandro’s land didn’t have access to water, he couldn’t raise any crops so he worked as an indentured servant for another farmer. Sandro called himself a wata runa, a Quechua phrase that means literally a “tied man”. When Mano a Mano started building a pond near Sandro’s land, Sandro hurried to till his land and plant his potatoes before the rainy season. In March, just three months after the pond was built, he had harvested his potatoes.
Then he walked for over ten hours through the Andes mountains to thank Mano a Mano for the gift of water. He brought big beautiful potatoes as a gift to Mano a Mano.
“I have harvested half of my potatoes,” he said, “ and already have enough for my family to eat till next year. The rest I will sell. I am no longer a wata runa – a tied man”.
Hundreds of Stories Like These to ‘Keep Moving Forward’
As our co-founder Joan Velasquez said after sharing these stories: “There are hundreds of stories like those we have shared. Each one touches our hearts and compels us to keep moving forward.” From building large-scale agricultural water reservoirs, to providing training to rural farmers through our Center for Ecological Agriculture, to building and improving roads, Mano a Mano is committed to improving the lives of rural Bolivian farmers; and we need your help – you are the seed that allows Mano a Mano to bring together many different groups and acheive results that none of us could do on our own.