Many families in the BOSAWAS, Nicaragua live a subsistence lifestyle by both growing small crops and raising a few farm animals. These subsistence farmers simply produce what they consume. While some small farmers have the capacity to produce more, the remoteness of the area does not lend itself well to production for sale at market. The nearest urban markets are many hours away upriver, and processing staple foods, like rice, with few implements is a laborious process, even at a subsistence level. Packaging product to store for future use or sale also poses a challenge.
Notwithstanding, there is some local demand for such staples. Those without means to produce their own food or who are otherwise employed, must purchase their provisions locally from the small shops that are stocked with staples produced, packaged, and transported from outside the BOSAWAS.
: a food system in which the people who produce, distribute, and consume food also control the mechanisms and policies of food production and distribution.
In order to respond to local demand, while stimulating the local economy and reducing reliance on imported goods, our Local Knowledge; Global Goals project is working with local producers to support increased production and the packaging of product to sell at the local shops.
A rice threshing machine is currently on the way and will make its way downriver to the BOSAWAS tomorrow! While the traditional manual method of husking rice for family consumption often falls to women and girls (see Marjorie, pictured above), the threshing machine (used to mechanically remove and separate the rice from the stalks and husks) will facilitate the husking of large quantities of rice and ease the potential burden of increased production. Simple rice sacks will provide a mechanism to package and store the product for sale.
On World Food Day, we acknowledge that, like sustainability, food sovereignty begins with equal opportunity.