GAIN and Unilever have teamed up to help improve the health and nutrition for 2.5 million people
500 million people are small-scale farmers across our planet mainly in developing countries and these small-scale farmers produce a staggering 70% of the world’s food.
GAIN working in partnership with Unilever has decided to help small-scale farmers with a new program called ‘Seeds of Prosperity’. The aim of the program is to improve the diet of small-scale farmers and their families through the promotion of dietary diversity along with improving health and wellbeing.
There is an assumption that because farmers grow a range of crops that they eat the food they grow. This isn’t the case. Most farmers have to sell all their crops in order to feed their families and they survive on starchy foods such as rice, bread and wheat – all lacking essential nutrients but are cheap and filling.
They know little about the benefits of a diverse diet and stunting remains high, in fact it is estimated that 161 million children under the age of five are stunted all over the world. Along with improving dietary diversity, we will be working to encourage better hygiene through the simple act of proper handwashing. It has been estimated that over 1.5 million children under five die each year as a result of diarrhoea. It is the second most common cause of child deaths worldwide. Handwashing with soap can reduce diarrhoea rates by more than 40 per cent.
GAIN and Unilever are focusing on the health of farmers, pregnant women, and children and are committed to empowering women by helping to improve access to resources and opportunities and this will start with the investment in home gardening projects.
We know that helping farmers through better hygiene and diet will reduce sickness, helping them to be productive and live longer and offer brighter futures for the next generation.
Watch what happened when a Unilever ambassador visited India to find out more about ‘Seeds of Prosperity’
Want to understand more about garden projects? Read this article about a garden project in Isiolo, Kenya.