A training on kitchen gardening was organized in the last week of June for twenty two women farmers of village Mandhal Thakaur located in Umerkot District of Sindh, Pakistan. This training was conducted as a key component of the Food security and drought response project supported by CGFB & PWS&D.
Through the day-long training, rural women gardeners were taught about the composition of gardening plots and were shown different ways of protecting their crops against diseases and insects. Economic and nutritional value of the harvested vegetables was highlighted as part of the training, and participants were made aware of the seasonal calendar of locally grown vegetables and how the growth and size of the harvest is affected by inclement weather. After the training, the women kitchen gardeners prepared patches of land to grow a variety of vegetables including okra, mung bean, brinjal, wild melon, cluster beans and ridge gourd. Their gardens now provide them and their families a variety of good quality home-grown vegetables which has improved their nutritional conditions as well as food diversity.
Here is a short video that captures participants of the training engaged in practical gardening exercises to prepare their land for cultivation and sowing seeds. While they are at it, these energetic and humble kitchen gardeners recite Gayatar Manthar, culturally considered one of the oldest and most powerful of Sanskrit mantras sung to cultivate agrarian lands in this region.