Kitchen Gardening

Under this project, housewives are encouraged, trained and given facilities to cultivate vegetables on household level. Besides fulfilling their domestic requirements, they earn a fair amount of money by selling their production in nearby markets, respectively. One of the aims of the project is to popularize this concept in Pakistan as unlike the rest of the world, people here don't utilize this option to earn a decent livelihood.

So far, more than 500 families have directly benefitted from this initiative and providing inspiration to many others to join the suit.

Kitchen gardening at Tharparkar

A step towards food security and self-sustainability

Engaged in diverse activities to alleviate the sufferings of drought ravaged people of Tharparkar, Human Appeal International has initiated yet another project to bring about a lasting change in the lives of local people. The project "Food Security and Nutrition" aims at building the capacity of local farmers through on-field training and in-kind support to grow vegetables at pieces of plots adjacent to their houses, respectively.

To begin with, 25 local farmers have been provided with a four months long training to take up the role of master trainers and play a pioneer role in popularizing the concept of kitchen gardening in the area. As planned, these master trainers are currently engaged in extending a comprehensive training to as many as 175 farmers for the development of 200 kitchen gardens in the area.

Located in close proximity to the solar-powered water pumps installed by Human Appeal over a period of time, the project sites have enough water available for irrigation purpose.

Need assessment and tools distribution

Earlier, a comprehensive study was conducted in collaboration with CABI, an international organization in agriculture, to identify the nutritional needs of local people. On the basis of the study, training modules were developed and seeds purchased for sowing. Through different sessions, trainees received knowledge and practical skills to prepare land for cultivation, nutritious values of various kinds of vegetables and as how to grow them in unfriendly conditions.

Human Appeal believes that mere emergency aid and support is no solution to the sufferings of the people of Tharparkar. Recurrent droughts necessitate a long term solution, revolving around motivation and skill development to face the situation on self-help basis. The project fully coincides with this concept and has infused a new confidence, coupled with knowledge and skills, in local farmers to focus on agriculture to face the situation.

The project has received accolades from various stakeholders, especially farmers, as it provides a durable solution to their key problems. "Incredible things are happening in our lives in distressing times. Human Appeal first brought a huge relief in our lives by providing us with solar-powered water pumps, which are benefitting thousands of people. A step further, now it is providing training to help us make the best use of available water and grow vegetables to meet our immediate needs", said Kishori Devi.

Human Appeal has taken local agriculture department on board as well as it believes in benefitting from the experience and skills of concerned circles to augment the impact of such projects on the ground.

Non-discriminatory and all inclusive

A staunch believer in humanity, Human Appeal does not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, color or any other consideration. Hence, the project is innately designed in such a way that it benefits both Muslims and Hindus, living in the area side by side since ages, equally and help them emerge as a single unit to fight against the issue of hunger and starvation.

It may not be out of place to mention here that some of the solar-powered water pumps installed by Human Appeal in the area cater to the Hindu community in particular because of their proximity and location. Additionally, it has also been ensured that local staff of Human Appeal is duly represented by the Hindu community also.

Impossible means untried

HAI-Pak Kisan Maila

Paddling a futurist approach, Human Appeal International, Pakistan (HAI-Pak) is currently engaged in various activities to promote organic farming in Pakistan and is thrilled by public interest in this arguably unexplored area and the results achieved so far at gross roots level.

Providing an opportunity to farmers to showcase their products, the HAI-Pak organized a Kisan Maila at Dir Kot, Azad Kashmir (AJK) in which 60 farmers, including women, displayed their products - honey bee, vegetables and fruit - and were thronged by visitors. Radiating benign smell, fresh products mesmerized the visitors, making them show extra interest in understanding what organic farming stands for and how come they try their hands on it.

While appreciating HAI-Pak for taking the initiative, Dr. Muhannad Bashir Butt, Director General Agriculture Department, AJK, reminded that organic farming held the key to a healthy society. The world has finally realized that use of pesticides and chemicals to obtain enhanced production is in fact playing havoc with the health of consumers and hence needs to be discouraged at every level.

As chief guest, he also distributed certificates of participation among farmers, in addition to administering oath to the office bearers of an association created on the occasion to promote organic products in AJK.

Human Appeal International, Pakistan believes organic farming has a huge potential in Pakistan and needs to be exploited fully to make inroads, especially, in international market, which is fast expanding in view of growing awareness about the peals attached with the use of inorganic products. The HAI-Pak plans to help farmers build linkages with global market for enhanced income generation and projection of a soft image of Pakistan worldwide.