Getting enough of the right foods
and malnutrition are complex problems. Children and
pregnant women are the most vulnerable. Their diets
are mostly comprised of beans, rice and tortillas.
During non-harvest months, many families do not eat every
day. The children's diets lack quantity as well as
quality of foodstuffs. Insufficient caloric intake, protein
and vitamin/mineral deficiencies all play huge roles in
diseases processes such as anemia, suppressed immune systems
and the various mal-nutritive states of Marasmus and
Kwashiorkor. Also complicating matters are the
difficulties of proper food preparation due to contaminated
water and lack of refrigeration. (No electricity is
available in this region.) Furthermore, there are the
additional health/nutritional issues brought about by often
times heavy parasite infestation.
the value of Variety
fruits and vegetables are grown in the project's gardens.
Part of the produce is given to the grade school to support
the school lunch program and the other part is available for
trade. A variety of methods are utilized, all of which
can be reproduced by local villagers. Waste from the
chickens and pigs is composted with other organic materials
such as coffee pulp to provide an organic solution to soil
nutrient deficiencies. Tomatoes, green peppers,
cucumbers, squash, mustard greens and radishes are among
some of the vegetables produced by the project. Seeds,
starter plants and technical support are also available to
those who wish to start their own gardens.
might ask why the poor have not been raising their own food
all along. There are many reasons why people abandoned
cultivation. Some of the reasons have to do with the
changeover from a barter/trade system to a cash system.
Other reasons have to do with poor soil quality, insects and
other pests as well as lack of technical services.
It is our hope to combat malnutrition through education and
Fellow Man International combats disease caused by malnutrition through an intensive agricultural project. This project is dedicated to better nutrition for those who are malnourished by providing healthy foods, coordinating their distribution and offering technical assistance to those in need.
There are two very distinct manifestations of
malnutrition that are encountered on a fairly
regular basis. Marasmus generally refers to an
extreme lack in calories often beginning before
twelve months of age. Mothers who do not
produce enough breast milk often times give their
baby rice water with sugar because they can not
afford to buy formula.
refers to severe protein deficiency. This
often occurs after weaning between the ages of 18 to
24 months. If left untreated, it can cause the
child to have a swollen abdomen, edema, hair loss and
lowered immune system. This severe form of
malnutrition can permanently affect growth and
intellectual development. It can even lead to
death in the most extreme of cases. To
avoid these heartbreaking conditions, early
detection and intervention are key.
Protein is one of the most frequently missing dietary components. The poor are forced to omit protein from their diets simply because it is cost prohibitive.
The agriculture project produces over two hundred 3.5 lb
to 4.0 lb chickens every three weeks to help feed the
hungry and to support the school lunch program.
project also has over one hundred laying hens which
provide eggs for the school children and villagers.
The cost of eggs has risen sharply in Honduras over the
last year from only one lempira (approximately $0.05) to
over three lempiras per egg. People are also
encouraged to keep back yard flocks of their own laying
hens and are educated about the value of complete
proteins in their diets.
pork is an expensive meat to produce. Most people
do not eat meat more than once or twice a month. A
limited amount of pork is produced by the agriculture
project to provide meat to the grade school for the
lunch program as well as offered at the trade store.
One reason for raising pigs in a demonstration farm
setting is to show villagers the value of penning their
livestock. Trichinosis is a health problem in the
service area, therefore villagers are encouraged to pen
their pigs to avoid exposure to such harmful parasites.
of the agriculture project are instructed in a variety
of agriculture techniques. They are encouraged to
exchange their excess cultivated fruits and vegetables
for meat, eggs, and milk products offered through the
project's barter system / trade store.
Our barter system / trade store provides several sources of protein including: eggs, chicken meat, and pork. Dairy products such as butter, cheese, and whole milk are also available.