| Population and Nutrition |
A group construction project to help ensure a supply of vegetables year-round.
Note: Check with your extension worker for suitable vegetables to use and the length of time they need for drying. Some areas may need more time than others.
FOR WHAT? / WHY?
So that group members will be able to:
Note: If this activity is combined with a group vegetable-raising project, the dried produce could be sold as an income-generating scheme.
Some background information for the group leader
What are the effects of rapid population growth on food quantity and quality?
In many areas, the population is increasing faster than the farmers' ability to increase agricultural production. In fact, in Africa as a whole, the amount of food produced per person is actually decreasing. That is to say, there is less food per person today than there was 10 years ago.
At the family level, farmers with large families are finding it more and more difficult to produce enough food to provide enough nourishment for all. And even where they still manage to produce enough food, other problems of rapid population growth still affect nutrition levels. For example, in many areas, the rapid population growth has led to shortages in fuelwood. Most of the basic foods in the developing countries need to be cooked before they are eaten (wheat, rice, cassava, maize, most beans, etc.), but with the shortage of fuelwood, many families can only prepare one hot meal per day.
Therefore, rapid: increases in population growth can negatively affect both food quality and quantity.
To ensure that all types of food are availalble throughout the year, good preservation of food is essential. However, as much as one-third of all food produced in Africa is wasted after harvest due to: poor handling and preservation practices. The more people there are, the more important it becomes to make good use of every kernel of maize, every grain of rice, and to preserve perishable produce.
Building a vegetable drying rack
The building process:
Using the dryer:
Booklets in this Leaders Guide Series:
Population and Agriculture
Population, Employment and Income
Population and the Environment
Population and Nutrition
Population and Health
The Family and Family Size
Human Growth and Development
How the Population Changes
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations