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Seeds of Hope: South Africa
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Seeds of Hope: South Africa

Food security is a pressing issue for millions of people worldwide. But one South African project demonstrates that, with a little guidance, local people can often produce their own food in a healthy, environmentally sound way, with additional benefits like economic growth and empowerment of the community.

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Segment 1

TITLE
Seeds of Hope: Feeding the World One Community at a Time
VOICEOVER
Food security means access to sufficient food to lead a healthy and productive life -- at all times, by all people.
RAJUL PANDYA-LORCH [Head, 2020 Vision Initiative, International Food Policy Research Institute]
The food security situation today is relatively bleak, in that almost 800 million people in the developing world don't have enough food to eat on a daily basis
VOICEOVER
Most people who are food insecure live in the developing world, in poor rural villages that fall outside of the global market. Often they do not have the money to purchase food from outside sources, yet they also lack the skills and resources to grow their own food. While there are many possible solutions to the problem of food insecurity, the community-based approach has been particularly successful. Using this approach, communities are producing their own food locally, in a healthy, environmentally sound way, with additional benefits like economic growth and empowerment of the community.
JULES PRETTY [Professor of Environment and Society, University of Essex]
Within communities, there are solutions that exist. Maybe people didn't realize they existed, and they need to be brought out, drawn out of systems. People have the wherewithal to transform themselves and their communities and there's very good evidence that shows that food insecurity can really be dealt a blow to end it. We just have to realize that those possibilities are there.
TITLE
Hlatlolanang Primary Health Center, Limpopo Province, South Africa
VOICEOVER
In rural South Africa, in the northern province of Limpopo, children were dying from hunger and malnutrition. One mother whose child had been hospitalized several times with severe malnutrition was desperate for a solution. She lacked the necessary knowledge and resources to grow her own food, so she turned to the Wits School of Public Health for help.
ROSELYN MAZIBUKO [Director, Health Promotion Division, Wits School of Public Health]
The women asked me to go and assist them to stop their children from dying. So the project that we established with the women was called Hlatlolanang Health and Nutrition Education Center. What we did was to make deep-trench gardens.
VOICEOVER
Deep-trench gardening is a simple process. A four-by-eight-foot trench is dug to a depth of a few feet, then filled with fertile soil. When the project began, 10 women in the village came together to learn the technique. Armed with knowledge, they were able to produce enough food to drastically improve the health of their children.
ROSELYN MAZIBUKO
Only four door-sized trench gardens, prepared a month apart each, would be able to provide fresh vegetables the whole year through.
VOICEOVER
The women would work in groups and would rotate together from one house to the next.
ROSELYN MAZIBUKO
You work on a Monday in one home and you dig a two-spade length by one-spade length type of trench garden, and then you go to the well to fetch water together. By the time the week ends, the seedlings are appearing on the garden of the one woman.
VOICEOVER
The women also learned other creative strategies to garden organically, using very little outside resources.
ROSELYN MAZIBUKO
We used nothing that we actually bought from the market, like manure, like pesticides. The women used the natural resources that they had.
VOICEOVER
The success of the initial village became known in the province and the women helped to establish similar groups in 43 other villages.
ROSELYN MAZIBUKO
I don't know how to explain the whole impact that this has had. It has not only managed to address the problem of starvation, it has also united the people. Some of the signs of success are not tangible ones, but when you actually see the women and the children, and you see that the child who used to cry with a very low cry and dry, and suddenly when you sing, because we sing and dance in the villages ... when you sing and dance and you see this child also singing and shaking, then you actually are very happy.