Small-scale gardening to combat hunger and to improve public health

I feel really proud when reading the page below in the “NIOU-NIEUWS”, a Dutch publication of the Comittee Maastricht-Niou.

This Comittee, created in the Dutch city of Maastricht, is already setting up different development programmes to combat desertification and to alleviate poverty for more than 2 decades  in Burkina Faso, not only in the village of Niou (Kourweogo Province), but also in many other villages, like Méguet-Zorgho.

I feel proud because I had this fantastic opportunity to participate with my team of the University of Ghent (Belgium) in the realization of the first small-scale community gardens for women and in some reforestation projects.  These community gardens, family gardens and school gardens not only provide fresh food, full of vitamins and mineral elements, but they also contribute to the improvement of public health, in particular that of the local children.

It cannot be denied anymore that one can easily solve the hunger problem of this world by creating small-scale gardens (community gardens, family gardens, school gardens, hospital gardens, etc.) in the drylands.

Food insecurity can be easily banned from all the drylands, if only the decision could be taken to spend less money on flying costly food from the developed countries to the developing ones, and to spend more on the promotion of small-scale farming or gardening. “Don’t bring food to this women, teach her how to grow it” !

It seems that the European Union is convinced of this, seen the financial resources recently offered to demonstration projects in five countries (see a former posting).

Let us that hope we are at a decisive turning point in the policies, heading for a better future through small-scale farming and gardening.

2009-06 : Een bladzijde uit het juni-nummer van het NIOU-NIEUWS
2009-06 : Een bladzijde uit het juni-nummer van het NIOU-NIEUWS

2009 Maastr. Groententuinen tekst

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.