Bhagya Lakshmi umapathy
Bhagya Lakshmi umapathy
From June 12, 2021 to December 12, 2023
12 families of an underpriviledged area (Residence Barkly, Mauritius)
Target avg age
Sustainable Development Goal
Health and Wellness
The project aims to empower the inhabitants of Residence Barkly to cultivate their own vegetables and fruits, increasing their access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.
According to a discussion conducted as part of the 10-year Barkly Vision 2020/2030 redevelopment programme in Residence Barkly-an underpriviledged area of Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill, these following were noted:
1. There is a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in the household.
2. There is a prevailing condition of unemployment, job instability and earning a per diem salary among residents.
3. Residents lack the knowledge of planting and sustaining food crops.
4. Nevertheless, they show interest to start planting, with a couple of them already growing their own plants for own use and sharing with neighbours.
5. There is a lack of open green space for planting.
6. There is a lack of resources for planting.
7. Going through lockdowns due to the the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced their need for food security and constant access to food.
Mauritius is a net food importer, with an overall self-sufficiency ratio of less than 30% as of 2019, according to the ITA. As part of the 10-year redevelopment programme of Barkly Vision 2020/2020, The Anou Planter project aims at making home-gardening more widespread and efficient by helping people start gardens in their homes by providing them the materials and holding trainings to teach them how to grow as much as possible at a minimal cost with the space available in their houses. Regular monitoring will be provided to the beneficiaries, till they reach a point where they can self-sustain, and start their own vegetable markets. The COVID-19 pandemic proved to us how both food supply and demand can be disrupted, impacting people's lives and well-beings. Fruits and vegetables have become expensive, producing these foods in their homes will save them money and increase their food security. Due to the lack of space and owing to different living conditions, each beneficiary has their own distinct type of plant cultivation:
- rooftop gardening with pots
- hanging reused containers (boxes, plastic bottles)
- vertical farming with pipes
- planting in reused jeans
- preparing compost in compost bins
- surface gardens
Anou Planter is in line with UN SDG 1 (No Poverty), UN SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), UN SDG 3 (Good Health & Well-being) and UN SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
- Home-gardening internal capacity-building session with an expert from the field, to help us better direct the project.
- Collaborations with partners (F.A.L.C.O.N/ Caritas Internationalis-Ile Maurice/ Centre of Learning, Barkly/ We For Change) to strengthen means of implementation.
- Site-visits to the houses of the 12 families (with all health & sanitary protocols observed) along with our partners, conducted a survey to know the beneficiaries' lifestyle, helping us to identify the type of plant cultivation most suitable for them.
- Identifying the type of equipment and seeds/seedlings needed, catered to each beneficiary's requirement as per the site-visits.
- Training sessions for the beneficiaries by our partners, teaching them the specifics of successful planting, growing and harvesting, by using recyclable materials.
- Providing equipment (compost bins, soil, small garden tools etc...) and materials for the upcoming home-gardens, through sponsors and collaborations with Plant Nurseries and hardware stores
- Monitoring the first batch of plants
- Received very positive reviews from beneficiaries and partners alike, on the ongoing progress
- Multiple other residents of Barkly and nearby regions have expressed their interest in being part of the project.
- Increasing the project target to more number of families from more regions.
- Provision of multiple training sessions in case people are taken up and cannot attend.
- On-site visits are highly recommended
- It is essential to have a representative of the area, acting as a spokesperson during site-visits
- Timely meetings, team work and proper planning are essential.