Combating Malnutrition with Faith

India has the highest number of children stunted because of malnutrition (48.2) equivalent to Colombia’s population, according to Save the Children’s ‘Stolen Childhoods’ report. The World Bank estimates that India is one of the highest-ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. In 2017, Global Hunger Index (GHI) report ranked India 97th out of 118 countries with a serious hunger situation.

It is an established fact that only well-nourished children can grow to their full physical and mental potential, take advantage of educational opportunities and contribute to the growth of any nation. But the number of malnutrition children in India is growing year after year. Fortunately, there is a better way to combat against childhood malnutrition, and that is through Faith Gardening.

Actually FAITH stands for “Food Always in the Home”, a vegetable gardening technology. With minimum amount of capital and labor, a family can be assured of a steady supply of nutritious food and even earn an extra income. This kind of gardening technique not only provides food, but can also reduce a family’s heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which are not only expensive but also wreck havoc on the environment. FAITH provides the necessary protein, vitamins and mineral requirements needed by a family with minimum amount of labor expenditure.

FAITH gardening is one of the several ways to ensure food security to families and a means of providing livelihood income. It is considered as a highly efficient gardening system that allows a family to utilize their backyard garden to the best of their ability. A 4-day FAITH gardening training program, organized by TellAsia Ministries concluded recently on September 7, 2017 in Varanasi. About 15 Community Health Educationist trainees participated in the training program that was carried out in the office premises. The trainees learned the following 10 steps of FAITH gardening: 1) Locate the best place of the garden; 2) provide enough space; 3) thoroughly prepare the soil; 4) fertilize with compost; 5) plant one third to early maturing vegetables; 6) plant another one third to semi-annual vegetables; 7) plant the remaining one third to annual vegetables; 8) plant the surrounding area of the garden with permanent crops; 9) plant reserved portion on time; and 10) practice crop rotation.

Benefits of FAITH
• Food safety
• Food Security
• Churches have lands that could be converted into gardens
• Proximity to needy people
• Active involvement of the family
• It can use disabled and seniors to actively engage in useful activity
• Provides healthy exercise
• Garden fresh crops for the consumption rather than supermarket stored and refrigerated vegetables
• Lesser dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides for crop yield

Utilizing such sustainable crop technologies, TellAsia is encouraging people to eat and live healthy lives.

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