Most people in developing countries depend on agriculture for their very survival. Training them – especially in small-scale farming – is at the heart of Caritas’ work to ensure that they can feed their families properly and stay healthy.
Caritas distributes drought resistant seeds, provides wells to support sustainable irrigation systems and builds granaries and flood defenses. Caritas also sets up community gardens, where women farmers are particularly encouraged to plant new and more varied crops. This helps them to adapt to our changing climate and to have a surplus to sell. Caritas gives them help with equipment and credit.
Access to markets is a key Caritas concern. This means helping farmers with transport, financial capital and the skills and knowledge to know where and when to sell their goods for the best price. It sounds easy. But it’s not for the very poorest farmers who may live in remote areas. So Caritas helps them work in cooperatives to share their skills and knowledge and also to improve their yields.
Moving people beyond the uncertainty and poverty of subsistence agriculture – which in turn leaves them more vulnerable to extreme weather – is a major Caritas goal.