Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to agriculture with devastating consequences for food security worldwide. In Micani, long periods of drought, sudden heavy rains and crop failures are already leading to precarious food situations and rural exodus. Therefore we want to lay the foundation for resilient food systems and sustainable agriculture with our “Food Security” project - in order to maintain the livelihood of the Bolivian rural population in their homeland in the future and to improve the food situation.
With the current and future problems of food supply in Micani in mind, we developed water-saving irrigation systems for village school gardens together with a Bolivian vocational school in 2017. Adapted to the extreme climatic requirements, the new gardens were designed to create healthy food diversity with rain-fed seasonal water storage, efficient drip irrigation and regionally typical crop rotation. After a successful pilot phase in four village schools, the project was expanded to all 16 village schools in the region. In addition to the construction and implementation of the technologies, the project focuses on knowledge transfer: not only the use and maintenance of the irrigation system, but also the handling of food and the principles of a balanced diet are the contents of the training courses for teachers, students, school cooks and villagers. Due to the importance of the village schools, a "lighthouse effect" can be achieved for the entire region.
Due to the altitude of some villages and thus colder climatic conditions, it is difficult to grow vegetables outdoors. Therefore, in addition to the installation of drip irrigation systems, solar tents, so-called "Carpas Solares", are being built in six of the 16 village schools. Three solar tents could already be completed in 2021, and three more are planned for 2022.
As the project is generally met with great interest, in the next project phase offers will be created for entire families, no longer just for village schools. The distribution of technologies and knowledge will be made possible. All families participating in the project will gain basic knowledge about balanced nutrition and sustainable agriculture. In addition, families are financially supported to build or expand the infrastructure of their family garden. Since the families have different local conditions and previous knowledge, each family will be picked up at their starting point. Families should be actively involved and see their family garden as their individual project to be managed (with support) by themselves.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges to global food security:
It’s time to act now!