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Earthquake victim farmers need to overcome the poverty cycle

Organized by: Divyanshu Saraph

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THE STORY:

This is a project we have engineered to help small holder farmers in extreme poverty to break out of the poverty cycle, become sustainable and slowly build their businesses and continue to stay that way. What a small holder farmer is a farmer that has on an average point five (0.5) hectare to two (2) hectors of land they farm. In the majority of these cases it is very difficult to make such a small parcel of land to be sustainable, and this is one of the reasons they do not have the tools they need to properly feed themselves and their families, or even have just enough to be able to survive. We started this project where we can help them become sustainable in this small parcel of land by training the agricultural best management practices and provide other assistance so that they can independently obtain the tools they need to be sustainable and grow. In many cases, we begin by correcting common mistakes that most small farmers make. In order to help ‘stop the bleeding’ and grow better, more profitable cash crops and increase its crop yields enough to where they can be profitable to them, be sustainable and slowly build out into larger parcels or process their crops for end user products to ultimately become profitable. We initially started this project back in January of this year and unfortunately after investing in the project, going there, launching the project there, we and they encountered a massive earthquake on April 16th 2016. This earthquake hit 7.8 on the Richter scale, killed hundreds of people and caused widespread catastrophic damage for a radius of over a hundred miles. Yes, it was massive. It was and is really devastating to them and us because we invested to launch the project in January. When we were just about to get this off the ground to help them this gargantuan earthquake hit. That area was not prepared for any tragedy, especially one of this size. This area is a very poor area which has been fighting through a very rough economic time prior to the earthquake since their government of Ecuador has only been able to provide very little, let alone monies to help them rebuild after earthquake of this size. In our case we didn’t prepare for an earthquake because we just initiated the launch. To make matters worse our sponsors would not further fund this project, or fund the rest of their commitment any more until we worked around the remnants of the earthquake and continued the project launch. We began working in Guayas and Manabi provinces back in January of 2016. First started in Guayas province which was also halted but they are in a little better shape. We also began in Portoviejo, and Mantas, both hardest hit areas, which are located in Manabi Province. We began to work in these areas because they were ideally close to the seaport which the government promised to spend more on infrastructure in 2017 (prior to the earthquake) and these areas are a commercial outpost for many agricultural products many that come from the rural parts of Manabi province. We have included a picture is of us gathered in that area center speaking with the leaders of a few of the grower groups and a local journalist. Where the real problem lies is that they still need much assistance to recover from this earthquake and also need to get back to their daily lives of working their land, providing for their family. Moreover, we are working and want to continue the project to help them build their land into a sustainable and growing agricultural business in order for them to break out of this extreme poverty cycle. Land takes much time and work in waiting months to reap its benefits. As we further worked to help them, we realized that there are so many more farmers in that area that are now asking for help so we must implement and be efficient on our end in order to help more and also make a larger impact. We are now creating ways to automate this process so we can help more. Since there are more farmers needing help we need to be efficient we need to have information which we can put into models and or demonstrate the needs, track the problems to others in order to properly target them and help. This is why we are thinking to develop a mobile App so we can gather the information we need , but also show them all we are working to help them. The App is basic but is a foundation we can build on, while taking action and helping each of their cases towards sustainable farming. We need funds for this entire process and hence, we are asking for donations/charity over online media. Please donate as much as you can and help us complete this project that we have already started. There are many needy out there and we are doing our part to help some of them, please do yours by helping us. Thank you!

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Divyanshu Saraph

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