Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Roots for Refugee Program Helps Women Learn to Grow Food for Local Farmers Markets

If you haven’t heard about the New Roots for Refugees I came across a recent story in the Kansas City Star that highlights the concept behind the up and coming program. New Roots for Refugees is a training program designed to help refugee women develop the skills necessary to sell at farmers markets, like the Farmers’ Community Market in Brookside. The three-year program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture manage the program.

(PHOTO: From the New Roots for Refugee Blog, Pay Lay and volunteer Susan work together at the farmer's market.)

The woman highlighted in the article, Aye Aye Nu sells produce alongside other refugee women from Burma, Somalia and Burundi at the Farmers Community Market in Brookside. According to the article, women like Nu are responsible for over half of the world’s food production, and in developing countries they produce 60 percent to 80 percent of the world’s staple crops of rice, wheat and maize, according to “A Row to Hoe,” says a report published in 2007 by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Read the entire article here.

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