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A unique view of all the ways WFP is assisting millions of people worldwide.

09/22/2016 - 15:01
Climate Change


Boyd, R4 participant, next to his crops. Photo: WFP/ Evin Joyce

Boyd Mungalu, R4 participant in Pemba district in southern Zambia, says that he will remember last year’s agricultural season for the “dry spells” that caused most of his maize crop to wither and die before it could reach waist height. Boyd is one of the millions smallholder farmers across southern Zambia, and tens of million across southern Africa, whose crop production has been challenged by a late onset of rainfall, punctuated by extended dry spells due to the El Niño event. 
Boyd explains that in a good season his maize harvest, the country’s staple crop, can fill up 136 bags. During this agricultural season, the yield was enough only for 25 bags.

Yet, he says with a smile: “It was a good year for me though, my cowpeas performed very well”. Indeed, thanks to the R4 initiative that introduced him to conservation agriculture, he focused on crop diversification and on the cultivation of drought-resistant crops such as cowpeas and sunflower, which gave him an abundant harvest.


“It was a good year for me though, my cowpeas performed very well.” Photo: WFP/Evin Joyce


Mainner, R4 participant, in her garden. Photo: WFP/Evin Joyce

Mainner Chabota, another R4 participant, tells us that while in 2014 she planted 40 kg of maize seeds and 5kg of cowpea seeds, last year she applied conservation agriculture techniques learned through the R4-FAO’s Conservation Agriculture Scaling Up project (CASU) partnership, and she switched the quantity of crops planted. She decreased maize to 15 kg and increased cowpeas to 40 kg. Despite her maize crop wilted at an early stage, the cowpeas kept growing. 

“R4 has given us a good lesson. Now I need more knowledge on how to garden and how to sell my produce once it has grown.”

“R4 has given us a good lesson. Now I need more knowledge on how to garden and how to sell my produce once it has grown.” Photo: WFP/Evin Joyce

Facing El Niño with the right crops

The latest El Niño was one of the strongest on record and caused the worst drought in southern Africa in the past 35 years. Despite this, Boyd and Mainner managed to mitigate its impacts by successfully applying conservation agriculture techniques and focusing their agricultural production on crops that better resist to droughts, such as cowpeas. This allowed them to meet their subsistence needs, and Mainner even gained a surplus for sale. This was possible thanks to the R4 initiative, which combines weather-index insurance with conservation agriculture techniques by partnering with FAO’s Conservation Agriculture Scaling Up project (CASU). Such integrated approach to climate risk management improved farmers’ natural resource management, reducing their risks to climatic shocks. 

Conservation agriculture is a climate smart agriculture technique that promotes crop rotation, minimum soil tillage and permanent soil cover to restore fertility and improve productivity. The adoption of conservation agriculture promotes resilience by steadily decreasing vulnerability to climate variability and shocks over time. 

A model to build resilience

The Rural Resilience Initiative (R4) is a strategic partnership with Oxfam America that aims to strengthen farmers’ food and income security in face of increasing climate risks through four risk management strategies. R4 combines improved resource management (risk reduction), insurance (risk transfer), livelihoods diversification and microcredit (prudent risk taking) and savings (risk reserves). 

In Zambia, the R4 model has been adapted to address the specific local challenges. The Initiative targets poor and food insecure smallholder households that, provided with a set of interventions - including agricultural inputs, improved agricultural practices, as well as financial services - are able to raise their productivity to meet their subsistence needs and gain from surplus sale. 

Once farmers start practising conservation agriculture, they can access a package of risk management services, namely: 
- Weather index insurance to safeguard their investment in conservation agriculture through critical phases in the crops growing period; 
- Credit and savings, to invest in their land, as well as in other income-generating activities;
- Enhanced linkages to markets to provide farmers with the opportunity to sell their products at a fair price. 

To learn more about R4 click here.

In Zambia, smallholder farmers rely on rain-fed agriculture and constantly face challenges such as erratic rainfall, fragile soils and poor access to markets. Climate change brings an additional burden on farmers’ food security by increasing the frequency and intensity of climate shocks. In the country, WFP helps farmers building their resilience through the Rural Resilience Initiative (R4), an integrated risk management strategy which aims to strengthen farmers’ food and income security in the face of climate risks, such as El Niño-related droughts.

By Evin Joyce and Arianna Tabegna

09/22/2016 - 13:25

The simple tenet of sharing food with others who have none runs through all religions. The act of ‘breaking bread’ was the inspiration for the eponymous event co-hosted by the World Food Programme and held on 21 September during the UN General Assembly’s High Level Week in New York.

It gathered representatives from different faith-based organization to celebrate the inspirational role of faith communities in alleviating hunger and affirm joining together to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger.

“We are gathered together tonight as communities of faith,” opened Master of Ceremonies, Joshua DuBois, who worked on faith-based partnerships for US President Barack Obama. “With the power of faith and the diligence of our work together, we believe that zero hunger is achievable in our lifetimes,” he added, setting the tone for the event which gathered representatives from different UN agencies as well as Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu communities and organizations.

“Hunger has no religion; hunger has no culture; hunger has no nationality. Yet every religion, every faith, requires that we feed the hungry,” said Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Ertharin Cousin.

“Tonight as we break bread, express our support and honour faith, we symbolize our friendship, commitment and solidarity towards the 795 million people who will go to bed hungry tonight, who are depending on us to change the opportunities for them,” she continued. “They depend upon our commitment to share food with those who are in need.”

A celebration of diversity

The event was marked by colorful moments of music and performance. The New York Andalus Ensemble sang a mix of Arabic and Hebrew, in a celebration of diversity. A spoken word performance by Trace DePass and Talia Wray brought to life the stories of the people that the World Food Programme serves. 

One story was of Juan from Ecuador: “Sharing food together is a blessing: having a family, a wife, and food,” his words articulated through the performers. “Food tastes better when we are together. For both my wife and for me, it is a joy to see our children satisfied after eating a meal.”

Another was the story of Zakariya, who worked to deliver food and medicine to his compatriots in Syria. “The first time I was delivering food I was so nervous. What should I say? I wanted to show them that I am exactly like them. I didn’t know how to knock on the door or how to tell them to take the food. It is hard to say how they felt when they received the food – they were happy and ashamed at the same time, and so was I.” The performance ended with his poignant words: “Food is the most important gift in life because it is life.” 

The event was streamed live on Facebook, watched by  thousands of people across the globe, many of whom shared messages of what breaking bread means to them: “Breaking bread together is what unites all and enables us to connect,” said one follower on Facebook. Another commented, “’Being able to eat whatever you want to eat is not a luxury. It’s a basic human right’ – Could not agree more.”

“Thanks for going live and letting the Facebook community around the world be part of the event. Very interesting!”


Catch up on the rest of the UN General Assembly High Level Week through our stories on Medium, and you can follow WFP at #UNGA though our FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

The World Food Programme co-hosts Breaking Bread, an interfaith event held during the UN General Assembly’s High Level Week.

09/21/2016 - 17:04

Q/ Madame Ambassador, you recently visited Kibangu health centre in ex-Katanga province to see activities to combat malnutrition that are funded by Canada. What were your impressions?

R/ It was my first opportunity to visit a project focussed on malnutrition, a sad occurrence in too many parts of this country that should otherwise be a land of plenty. I found it very interesting and gratifying to see first-hand the interaction between the different players involved and the community and to see that our funding is clearly producing results. I especially appreciated the careful thought put into implementing integrated strategies that should help ensure sustainability, including improved food eating and harvesting habits. 

Madame the Ambassador with the nurse in chief of the Kibangu health centre. Photo © WFP/Françoise Kanam


Q/ What are your thoughts on WFP’s collaboration with local and international aid organisations? 

R/ I was very impressed with the level of dedication demonstrated by all the parties involved in supporting this effort to end malnutrition in these communities. The good results are clearly linked to the excellent integrated communication and implementation strategies put in place.

Q/ Did you have the opportunity to talk to any of the recipients of assistance? 

R/ I did have the opportunity to interact with beneficiaries and welcome appreciation of the efforts put in place to assist them in becoming healthier mothers and have healthier children. They are clearly concerned that the progress made is not lost and their requests for increased income generation and literacy opportunities reflect their understanding, a significant result in itself of the programme, that they must take charge of their lives. I encourage the local authorities to consider their needs as they move forward with socio-economic development plans for the province.

Welcome word from the community of Kibangu photo © WFP/Françoise Kanam


Q/ Canada is one of our most valuable donors.  What are the future prospects of Canada and WFP collaboration in DRC?

R/ WFP is a major partner for Canada globally.  Given the needs in the DRC, I expect that Canada will continue to turn to the WFP to help deliver the same results that I saw at the Kibungu Health Clinic. Of course, we all hope that a time will come when the DRC is able to meet the basic needs of its population and create the conditions for increased prosperity overall, but meanwhile Canada will continue to work with valued partners such as the WFP to help the most vulnerable communities in this country.


Canadian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ginette Martin, recently traveled to Haut-Katanga province where she visited activities implemented by WFP with funding from the Government of Canada. Upon Ms. Ginette's return to Kinshasa, the DRC capital, we caught up with her to get her impressions of the mission.

09/21/2016 - 12:15

Across cultures, countries and religions, bread has been eaten and shared for thousands of years. Such is the central role of bread in many communities that in Egyptian Arabic the word for bread, aish, is the same as the word for life. 

Bread is also at the centre of an interfaith event, Breaking Bread, co-hosted by the World Food Programme during the UN General Assembly’s High Level Week. The term breaking bread refers to the act of tearing bread in order to share it, but also more commonly refers to coming together to share food and spread peace.

Forging a faith-inspired path to Zero Hunger

The simple tenet of sharing food with others who have none runs through all religions. At the Breaking Bread event, on Wednesday 21 September in New York at 6pm EST, the World Food Programme will be forging a faith-inspired path to the Global Goal of Zero Hunger, with partners including Islamic Relief, Caritas, FAO and others. 

Faith groups and the UN will come together to celebrate the work of many faith communities in alleviating hunger, and to commit to a strong inter-faith partnership to accelerate progress towards Zero Hunger.

With 795 million hungry people in the world today, ending hunger by the Global Goals’ deadline of 2030 is possible only with stronger partnerships with governments, civil society including religious communities, the UN, non-government groups and the private sector. 

The Breaking Bread event comes after WFP convened discussions with a broad range of religious leaders in June 2016 in Rome which provided a rich set of exchanged ideas. Inspired by that session, Breaking Bread brings partners together in an affirming celebration of the spirit of interfaith partnership to reach Zero Hunger. 

A joyous event

The Master of Ceremonies for the event is Joshua DuBois, who worked on faith-based partnerships for US President Barack Obama, and is author of a book of devotionals based on the daily uplifting messages he still sends to the President. 

Remarks will be given by Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Joseph Donnelly from Caritas Internationalis and Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven from the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Remarks and reflections will also be shared by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Anwar Khan from Islamic Relief USA, Ramaswamy Mohan from the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky from the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, Ven. Chung Ohun Lee from Won Buddhism International, and Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO of World Vision. 

Musical performances will feature American  musician and singer Cody Chesnutt, and the NY Andalus Ensemble, as well as a spoken word performance by Trace DePass and Talia Wray, accompanied by musician Nkosi Nkululeko. 

A highlight of the event will be an exchange of Zero Hunger ribbons where guests will be invited to tie a ribbon around their wrist as a sign of their commitment to our collective work to end hunger. 

What does #BreakingBread mean to you? 

You can join in by following WFP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

You can also follow the event partners on Twitter:
Islamic Relief @IslamicRelief
Caritas @iamCARITAS
World Vision @foodWV

The collective call to action is for everyone, whether at the event in New York or following the #BreakingBread conversation on Facebook and Twitter, to echo the message that Zero Hunger can be achieved through working together. United, we have the power to reach zero hunger.

One way that you can take part is to share your thoughts on what breaking bread means to you. Share a message, a photo or a video with the hashtag #BreakingBread. 

Event Details

Breaking Bread interfaith event
Church Centre for the United Nations, 77 United Nations Plaza
Wednesday, 21 September 2016, 1800 – 1930 EST

If you’re in New York and attending #UNGA, you can RSVP to the Breaking Bread event here:


As the World Food Programme co-hosts the interfaith event Breaking Bread during the UN General Assembly’s High Level Week, we ask what sharing this symbolic food means to you. 

09/16/2016 - 14:31
Cash and Vouchers

MORA, Far North region – Tens of thousands of displaced families have flocked in the town of Mora, near the Nigerian frontier, to escape Boko haram insurgency, which has ravaged villages along the border for over two years now. Homes destroyed and families torn apart, many women are left alone to care for the household as their husbands have been killed in attacks or deserted the family to find work elsewhere. In Mora, WFP cash assistance programmes, which exclusively target single women households, provide some relief in the turmoil of chaos.


Fadi has been displaced in Mora for two years. As a sole carer for 10 children, the main challenge is to put food on the table every day. “I lost my work and all my property as Boko Haram burned down the house we lived in”, she explains. “My husband is no longer with us, so how will I alone provide for the children?"

Since May this year, she has received 110,000 FCFA (about USD $198) every month for her and the children. The cash allowance, sent by WFP through her mobile phone, can be spend in selected local shops. The cash transfers give her a sense of normality, as she can go to the local market to buy meat, canned fish, rice, milk for the children, and other products to prepare the meals of her preference. She can save some of the money on her phone, or spend it all at once – it is up to her to choose.   


Meanwhile in eastern Cameroon, three refugee women from the Central African Republic have profited from the increased market demand that the cash transfer programs brings, to start up a small shop where they sell cassava flour, a locally preferred staple food. The women are amongst 30 local traders in the Gado refugee camp, working with WFP to provide sufficient availability of diversified food products.

The cassava flour is highly appreciated amongst the local communities, frequently used by women in their daily cooking traditions. “We have more than 150 people come in to the shop every day”, says Fatosaleh, the shop founder. In a month, the sales can reach over 14 tons of cassava flower to a price of 11 million FCFA.  


The women purchase their products in nearby market, but lately, prices have gone up as the rainy season is under way and local transporters have difficulties to reach their destinations. Their earnings have decreased in the past weeks.

But Fatosaleh stays positive – “as long as I have my business, I can make a living here in Cameroon and I hope the market will return to our favor once the rains have passed”, she explains, “We know it is not yet safe to return to our village in CAR and we cannot go home. But here in Cameroon we have found some peace.”


Cameroon is home to over 190,000 internally displaced persons and 340,000 refugees, both from Nigeria and the Central African Republic, who have fled conflict and escalating violence spilling across borders. Dispersed in camps, temporary settlements or amongst local people in poor communities, the relief assistance they receive from the humanitarian community is often all they have to survive.


WFP and partners are helping those most in need with food and nutrition support activities to address food insecurity and high rates of malnutrition amongst young children and mothers. In 2016, the aim is to assist 500,000 people in Cameroon, including refugees, IDPs, and the most food insecure local communities.

WFP started distributing cash to some families in late May, and plans to extend assistance to areas where food is available and markets are functioning, to allow people to buy the food that they need, while also supporting the local economy. While aiming to expand the programme, WFP will take more efforts to support women’s engagement in market activities, considering that cultural barriers often hinder their participation.

The cash assistance programmes is being implemented with the generous support from donors like the EU, France, UK, Germany, Canada, and UN CERF.  

Written by Sofia Engdahl, WFP Cameroon. All photos: WFP/Sofia Engdahl

This year, WFP introduced mobile-phone based cash assistance for the first time in Cameroon. Cash transfers, which replace monthly food rations, provide the most vulnerable refugees and displaced Cameroonian families with freedom to buy the products of their choice, to meet their most urgent food needs. For some, it is not only a means of providing food for the family, but also an opportunity to engage in income generating activities.

09/13/2016 - 21:17

GODAN was formed to encourage world leaders to make their data in agriculture and nutrition open so that it is freely available and usable worldwide for better policy and decision-making. By opening that data, the aim is to achieve the UN goal for Zero Hunger by 2030.

Two students from Auburn University in Alabama, US, have high hopes that the summit will be the launching pad for an idea they have to end hunger in their own community. Ruthie Wofford and Molly Rhodes, both seniors, have been collaborating on an app that would connect local farmers and gardeners with important market and nutrition information, provide a step-by-step guide to gardening and farming based on weather and location, and eventually, become a platform for shared success stories.

[quote|“As a student, it would have been easy to ignore the poverty just outside the university, but when I began working with local food pantries, it became apparent to me how ingrained it is in the Lee County area where we are in school.” ~Ruthie Wofford]

The idea for the app stemmed from seeing poverty and hunger in the area surrounding their school. Lee County, in eastern Alabama, is among the highest in the nation for food insecurity, yet the terrain is very viable for farming and agriculture.

“As a student, it would have been easy to ignore the poverty just outside the university, but when I began working with local food pantries, it became apparent to me how ingrained it is in the Lee County area where we are in school,” said Wofford.

As part of the summit, GODAN will host a 24-hour hackathon for young entrepreneurs where Ruthie and Molly will have a chance to present their app, collaborate with innovators and students of all different backgrounds and source data to develop the platform.

[quote|“The hackathon will give us the opportunity to take our idea and develop it into a usable product that will make an impact back home.” ~Molly Rhodes]

“The hackathon will give us the opportunity to take our idea and develop it into a usable product that will make an impact back home,” said Rhodes.

The GODAN Summit was developed to illustrate the opening, use, and importance of agriculture and nutrition data as a critical tool in the fight against hunger. This year’s speakers include WFP Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, ONE Campaign Agriculture Policy Director Kate Van Waes and a slew of the brightest minds working at the intersection of food security, agriculture and nutrition and technology.

The summit will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas. For more information or to register:  

To learn how open data is improving food security around the world, click here.

(Picture 1: Ruthie Wofford (center) and volunteers prepping food donations for a local food bank)

(Picture 2 (left to right): Ruthie Wofford and Molly Rhodes)


On September 15-16, public and private leaders, researchers and advocates will convene in New York City at the annual Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Summit to address the use of “open data” in combating hunger and to showcase innovative open data success stories from across the world. Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and re-distributed by anyone, and this summit is the largest gathering ever planned around open data in agriculture and nutrition.

09/13/2016 - 15:00
Responding to Emergencies

Sultan Ismail was among those people displaced from Nehim district into the nearby Bani Husheish area, in the northern Sana’a governorate, and who recently received a basket of staple food for their families.

Ismail says he fled his home with his family after fighting erupted in the area.

“I have five children and I escaped from my house, along with other neighbours, when the rockets started to fall in our village,” he explained. 

Sultan Ismail: “This (food) will help us to survive and withstand these difficult circumstances for a longer period. I hope this war ends and all displaced people return to their homes.” Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed  

Families previously uprooted by fighting in Taiz, Al Jawf and Marib governorates were also among those who received food assistance at the distribution. 

There are nearly 3 million displaced people in Yemen, and 14.1 million Yemenis are food insecure, meaning they are unsure where their next meal will come from. This includes 7 million people who are severely food insecure – a level of need that requires urgent food assistance.

With ECHO support, WFP has been able to provide a basket of food including wheat, beans, sugar and vegetable oil fortified with Vitamin A.

Displaced Yemenis look for their names on a list before taking their food baskets, in one of the food-distribution centres in Sana’a. Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed   

The European Union has been a consistent supporter of WFP in Yemen, having made contributions for resilience programmes and nutrition interventions for malnourished children since before the civil war broke out in Yemen in 2015.

Prior to the war, the country was already importing over 90 percent of its food and child malnutrition rates were among the highest in the world. 

– Story by Brook Dubois and Intisar Alqsar

The World Food Programme (WFP) has recently provided urgently needed food for more than 22,000 displaced people in northern Yemen, thanks to support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). It is part of WFP’s efforts to reach vulnerable families in 19 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates, supported by contributions from ECHO.

09/13/2016 - 11:10

Meet Hanan Abdalla Mohammed. She lives in Shagra village in Darfur, Sudan, and has six children. Hanan is involved in a World Food Programme (WFP) project to help women safely cook food for themselves and their families. She is one of over 2 million women in Darfur reached under WFP’s Safe Access to Fuel and Energy programme, also known simply as SAFE. READ MORE HERE

09/09/2016 - 21:13
School Meals


Looking for more recipes? Visit our FamilyChef page

Introducing fresh produce in WFP Haiti’s School Meals Programme

Bezin National School is one of the 24 schools participating in WFP’s first Home Grown School Meals Programme in Haiti. WFP has partnered with local NGOs and small farmers' organizations to ensure that the children receive a daily hot meal cooked entirely with fresh locally sourced ingredients, such as local beans and sorghum.

Since January 2016, with the first delivery of fresh produce, the school has seen a marked change in attendance. Children enjoy coming to school, where they can now eat a hot lunch, and are learning about the value of local production and consumption. The added nutritional value of the home-grown produce and the support that the programme provides to the local economy are important for many parents, who willingly contribute to the school meals, both with spices as well as their time. 

How to prepare your own version of Touffé de legumes 

1) In a pot, cover the black beans with water and simmer on the stove over low heat for about 45 minutes or until tender.

2) While the beans are cooking, peel, and chop the carrots, cabbage, eggplant, and mirliton into small pieces. Boil for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain.

3) Mash all the vegetables, except carrots, with a mortar and pestle or food processor. Add the tomato paste. 

4) Heat your oil in a deep pot over low heat, and add the crushed garlic, green onions, black pepper, and dried fish. Once the mix has slightly browned, add the precooked black beans.

5) Rinse the sorghum or millet under running water. In a separate pot, cover with water and boil over low heat for 15 minutes. Drain and add to the beans. 

6) Divide the sorghum and bean mix among 4 plates and top with vegetables. Bon appétit! 

WFP is 100% voluntary funded. This home grown school meals pilot is possible thanks to financing from the Brazilian Government in coordination with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture. WFP's local implementing partners are the Reseau des Producteurs Agricoles de Nippes (ROPANIP) and the Bureau de Nutrition et Développement (BND). 

Learn More about Nippes Pilot programme: From Field To Table: Follow The Food In Haitian Home-Grown School Meals In 10 Steps.

Welcome to FamilyChef, the recipe series of the World Food Programme (WFP). Touffé de legumes, a vegetable stew, is a Haitian classic, served by WFP to school children as part of its school meals programme.

09/08/2016 - 18:02
Preventing Hunger

Marie Zuo, Musu Tokpa, and Mamiata Singbe are beaming behind a bucket full of fresh eggplants and peppers. They are part of among nearly 25 women (and a few men) of the Donfah Rural Farmers Group in Donfah, Bong County, in the north-central part of Liberia.

The group has a lot of things to be proud of. Over the past three years, they have seen swamplands metamorphose into lush rice fields and gardens heavily laden with vegetables.

How did they do it?

A mix of things. Learning, for one, to produce better rice, by using a better water and pest control mechanisms. Planting better seeds. All leading not only to grow enough food to eat, but also to have some to sale and make a profit.

In nearby Melekie, on the outskirts of Gbarnga town, the War Affected Rural Women Group are operating a mammoth 20.3 hectares of lowland covered in green rice fields.

WFP and its partner, Catalyst Incorporated, started the four-year “Community-Based Sustainable Food Security of Smallholder Rice Producers” project funded by Japan in 2013 in Bong County.

It works with 450 farmers (more than half of them women) across ten communities in Bong County.

The farmers learn how to rehabilitate swamplands into rice fields, repair or build infrastructure so that they have easier access to markets to sell their products, learn how to diversify their food productions by establishing vegetable gardens whilst receiving WFP food assistance for their work - as part of WFP's Food for Assets programme-as well as seeds for planting.

It is a perfect example of people transforming their communities and their lives with the right type of support.

Photos and text: WFP/John Monibah 




In rural Liberia, thanks to the support of the Government of Japan, WFP and its partners, hundreds of farmers have transformed swamplands into lush rice fields and created gardens heavily laden with vegetables.