Women with cabbage harvest in Epulu.
In the past few months, it's been an exciting time for farmers across the Reserve. Harvest is in full effect and vegetables are being plucked from the fields in large quantities. The community comes together, sharing the fruits (or vegetables, rather) of their labors to ensure every family eats comfortably till the next harvest.
In addition to the farmers that we support through our sustainable agroforestry program, the women’s groups of each village are a key fixture within agriculture. Women work to provide for their families and communities through the nurseries and community gardens in each village.
Nurseries are integral to the larger farming efforts of the Reserve, delivering nitrogen-fixing trees to sustainable farms. Nitrogen-fixing trees keep the soil fertile, allowing the same land to be used season after season without having to carve out new land within the Ituri Forest.
Community gardens provide a supplementary harvest of vegetables that the women’s groups can distribute to their families and those who need them most. These gardens give women in the community an additional way to provide for their village increasing their influence within the community by giving them control of the management of the resource.
Harvests around the Reserve have been largely successful, though a dry season did reduce the yield of crops in Epulu. Dry seasons make it challenging for enough water to be collected. But through their tenacity, the women of Epulu were able to keep most of the crops alive, producing a viable harvest.
Your support of the sustainable farms and women’s groups of the Reserve helps provide the most necessary resource to the people of the Reserve - food. All while protecting the rich diversity of flora and fauna of the Ituri Forest.
Women's Group member displays a harvest sample.