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Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition Holistically

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Today, global hunger and food insecurity, driven largely by conflict, economic instability, and climate shocks, continue to rise.

A staggering 783 million people globally know the personal, daily ache of chronic hunger.

Tearfund's partners are addressing this issue through comprehensive initiatives that emphasise good food, nutrition education, and improved agricultural practices.

1. Agriculture training

Luke Ola Fou Farming

Tearfund's partners around the world assist farmers by teaching them effective farming techniques aimed at increasing crop yields. These include:

  • intercropping (growing two or more crops simultaneously in the same field),

  • diversifying the crops they grow,

  • sowing drought-resistant seeds,

  • and mulching and adding compost to improve soil health.

  • On hilly land, it can also include projects like construction of water absorption trenches which reduce water run-off.

Luke (pictured) participated in agricultural training with Tearfund’s partner Ola Fou in the Solomon Islands.

“With the agricultural training, I have seen the benefits already,” says Luke (pictured). “I have planted crops: some are for my family, others I sell at the market, bringing income to the family. I’ve also learned how to make use of readily available materials to make compost and organic fertiliser. Now me and my family are getting a consistent income to meet my family’s needs. I grow taro, peanuts, ginger, local tobacco, chills and spring onion. Guests come to buy from the family’s vegetable garden.”

Did you know? Tearfund does not run its own projects but partners with local Christian agencies that understand the specific needs of their communities.

2. Providing Seeds and Tools

Providing seeds and tools to farmers, although a simple measure, has profound impacts. These essential resources enable farmers to diversify crops, enhance yields, and improve soil health, ultimately leading to better nutrition and food security.

Candida Mozambique

Tearfund’s local partner, the Christian Network Against HIV and AIDS in Mozambique (RCHS), not only supplies these tools but also offers training in conservation agriculture, leading to healthier soils and higher yields.

Hear from the farmer, Candida directly

“For a long time, I cultivated just for myself and my family to eat. With training and monitoring in agriculture, I can produce and leave a lot of production in my own field that I can sell so I have the money to do other things at home."

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3. Training nutrition volunteers

Meet Christine. She is a local nutrition volunteer equipped by Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS) and represents the potential of community-led change.

She's knowledgeable and passionate, and uses her training to help women in her community prepare nutrient-dense foods to improve family health. Volunteers like Christine also help lead others in sustainable ways to grow, prepare and preserve food, meaning that families can enjoy nutritious meals all year round.

“Food is a challenge here. Just maize is not enough. But this food we now grow on our own is medicine for us. Children who had malnutrition, after eating this food, got well,” Christine shared

Tearfund works with local partners in 12 countries heavily affected by hunger and malnutrition

Eunice Zambia

4. Climate-smart farming

Tearfund’s local partner the Reformed Church in Zambia Diaconia Response (RCZ) helps farmers group to implement climate-smart farming.

Farmers get training from an agricultural specialist and the provision of a ‘ripper’ – a tool that helps prepare fields in a way that is less disruptive and allows for better water retention. They also learn how to make their own compost and fertiliser, meaning they don’t need to rely on expensive commercial fertilisers.

Eunice Moyo, a local farmer, has seen significant improvements: "The maize I harvested last season will feed my family until next March. Previously, I collected 15 bags of maize; last season, I gathered 23 bags despite erratic rains. This change has ensured that my family is food secure and can enjoy three good meals a day."

Related projects have received support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).