A three-year program implemented by CWS partner SSID in the Dominican Republic has made long-term changes in the food security of 22 communities in an area previously dominated by sugar production, now largely ignored by private companies and the local government. 745 families have a higher quantity and quality of food production, including a 50% increase in levels of production in certain items and significant diversification of foodstuffs. As a result, the levels of malnutrition and of infant mortality declined dramatically.
Furthermore, numerous changes indicate that these gains will be sustainable in the long run. For example, families have created a seed bank, eliminating their annual lack of seeds for planting. Families have learned organic farming methods, which impacts directly on the sustainability of their food production. Also, local community organizations have been strengthened, as evidenced by increased numbers of members, higher levels of activity and increased participation in analysis and decision making.
Photo: Don Tatlock