COVID-19 has taxed all aspects of life, and food security is no exception. Due to the pandemic, vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants, spices and other marketable crops have not been produced and distributed in normal quantities in Sri Lanka. To avoid shortages, an emergency plan was developed jointly by SEFEC (Entrepreneur Expertise Center), SANASA Uththamavi and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Focusing on the creation and expansion of 400 community gardens, this emergency plan included awareness sessions and technical training for women entrepreneurs to give rural households the means to ensure food security and obtain additional income.
Advantages to community gardens
There are many advantages to community gardens: they provide a form of production that poor households can easily access with very few resources, using locally available planting equipment, natural manure and traditional pest control methods. In addition, the training provided encouraged the adoption of soil and water conservation measures that will improve productivity and ensure long-term sustainable land use.
Training and production
Two training sessions were organized for participants on basic farming methods and the preparation of organic manure and pest repellents. These courses were complemented by visits to farms in their region.
The program also supported the production of value-added processed products. And several women entrepreneurs have now started producing pepper sauces, chutneys, cereal-based nutritional mixtures and medicinal teas.