One of the organizations The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund works through is the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. PWRDF, alongside 15 other church agencies, is a member of the Foodgrains Bank. This relationship allows PWRDF to have access to government funding for responses to global food and nutrition emergencies.
The Foodgrains Bank was created as a pilot project of the Mennonite Central Committee in 1976 to allow Canadian farmers to share their harvests with those less fortunate than themselves around the world. The project was opened in 1983 to include multiple church agencies and was then re-established as “The Canadian Foodgrains Bank”. Today the organization fights hunger in over 40 countries and it’s member’s represent 30 denominations and more than 70,000 congregations.
When famine was declared in South Sudan in February 2017, PWRDF allocated $25,000 of the funds in its Foodgrains Bank equity towards famine relief. Combined with $83,750 from ADRA Canada and a 4:1 match from Global Affairs Canada, $320,000 was used towards famine relief work.
Because of PWRDF’s working relationship with the Foodgrains Bank, it has led to numerous instances of government matching in our funding towards emergency relief and global aid and development projects.
The relationship is furthered by our similar goals in public education and advocacy. The Foodgrains Bank has a wide variety of resources available to the public, offers learning events, and policy expertise on global food security.
If you’re interested in learning more about its members’ work or accessing some of the Foodgrain Bank’s resources, I would encourage you to check them out at foodgrainsbank.ca.
PWRDF is currently working to deepen its longstanding relationship with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank as both organizations recognize the importance and effectiveness to “A Christian response to Global Hunger” (Foodgrains Bank, 2017).
Agricultural education initiatives in the face of climate change
One in nine people in the world goes to bed hungry each day.
Most of those people are in developing countries and they are small holder farmers. The effects of climate change are acutely felt in many of these communities where people cannot farm the land and feed their families in the way they have for centuries. PWRDF programs examine environmental impact, and work to promote adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
A number of PWRDF partners engage in a wide variety of agricultural training to increase the quantity and quality of food produced in ways that do no harm to the environment, taking into account the changes in the environment that have already occurred such as reduced rainfall and deforestation.
PWRDF-funded projects include training, mentorship and extension advice in raising awareness on the short- and long-term consequences of using pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and heavy farm machinery. Harmful agricultural practices are second only to fossil fuels as the main drivers for climate change.
Care is taken to ensure our projects use agricultural inputs that do not harm the land but also improve the land by regenerating water and nutrient cycles, maximize photosynthesis and increase biodiversity in gardens and cropping areas. Use of cover crops, mulch, compost and contour ridges draw rain into the soil without runoff and allow it to spread slowly through the soil profile by osmosis and gravity for use by plants and recharge of groundwater.
Eco-friendly strategies include:
- Use of grasses, plants, bushes or trees, vegetation remains to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and to sequester carbon both above and below ground.
- Use of green manures, compost, livestock integration and bio-fertilizers to contribute to soil fertility, which is so important for larger yields of nutritious food crops.
- Use of agro-forestry and planting of crops in guilds and stories to maximize photosynthesis for greater biomass and food production in projects.
To read more about our food security and climate change mitigation programs, please click on the country below:
- Cuba (Episcopal Church of Cuba)
- Cuba (Cuban Council of Churches)
- Sri Lanka