Meghi is 40 years old and a resident of Geno Kolhi village in District Badin. She has three family members. Her main source of livelihood is agriculture.
“I grow vegetables to meet my family’s food security needs. Nutrient-rich vegetables also add to the diversity in our diet. By cutting down on food related expenditures, my savings helped me meet other expenses such as for health and agricultural inputs,” says Meghni, one of the beneficiaries of the ACF’s kitchen gardening intervention in Badin District of Sindh Province.
Over the years, Geno Kolihi Village has experienced different disasters such as floods, heatwaves, drought, and severe water shortages every other year, making it extremely challenging for vulnerable households to meet their food security needs. ACF introduced kitchen gardening in the target village to improve women’s skills in vegetable production for sustainable sustenance. These women learned various kitchen gardening techniques, organic mulching, and irrigation techniques to grow different seasonal vegetables.
Meghni is one of 2,250 women farmers, who practiced kitchen gardening together with the technical support from ACF and its implementing partner, LHDP. Even though target households were mostly dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, none of them had vegetable gardens before the intervention. This effort was part of ACF’s support for recovery of agriculture-based livelihoods of vulnerable men and women farmers affected by multiple disasters under the Skala funded project “Strengthening resilience to natural disasters of most vulnerable population through increased disaster preparedness and nutrition-sensitive emergency assistance“.
‘’I heard about by ACF and Laar Humanitarian & Development Program (LHDP) teams organizing meetings in my village under the Skala project through my friend and I decided to join them. I received training on kitchen gardening, kitchen gardening tools and received different types of vegetable seeds for my kitchen gardening plot”. Meghi learned to convert a small piece of land into a kitchen garden by making ridges to cultivate vegetables. She also applied irrigation techniques that she learnt from the training to conserve soil moisture.
“I have cultivated seasonal vegetables such as okra, ridge gourd, cluster beans, round guard, and chilies among many others. I applied integrated pest management, farmyard manure and mulching for vegetable growth and production. I am also using improved irrigation techniques to ensure rationalized use of water in view of the water scarcity. I am thankful to ACF and LHDP for enhancing my skills and providing me with the kitchen gardening tool kit. Kitchen gardening has saved me a lot of money spent on food that we would otherwise spend on purchasing the same vegetables from the market at a much higher price,” Meghni added.
Mehghi and other women farmers of the village also took part in awareness campaign on climate change adaptation, training on saline tolerant fodder, and learnt techniques on re-using agricultural land that had been abandoned due to salinity.