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Bolivia: Vouchers for food security and disaster risk reduction

Receiving the coupons for her work

Martha Carrasco, community leader of 2 de Agosto in San Julián, receiving vouchers for her work in producing and planting seeds to protect gardens and crop lands. Originally from the highlands of Potosí, Martha and her family migrated to San Julián as settlers, looking for better lives. The counterpart to WFP in this programme is the Autonomous Departmental Government of Santa Cruz.

Barriers to prevent overflows and floods

Barrier walls and pyramids are rustic defences built through the project on the banks of the Rio Grande to prevent overflows and floods during the rainy season.

Proud of her garden

Mrs.Virginia Rodríguez is very proud of her garden. Before having her own garden she would have to buy fruits and vegetables from Montero City and, due to the cost of this, her family was not able to eat them often. Today she harvests the bell peppers for the week.

Preparing the garden for the next harvest

Mrs.Virginia Rodríguez, from Porvenir, shows off her latest harvest: corn, beans, peppers, onions and beets. Meanwhile, her son-in-law cleans and weeds the garden, preparing it for the next harvest.

Washing the bell peppers

Virginia Rodríguez happily cleans her bell peppers she just harvested. She plans on making stew for her grandchildren who enjoy eating vegetables grown in their own garden.

Chopping the peppers

Virginia Rodríguez picks a ration of peppers for the day. This is the third harvest since the beginning of the project. She is proud to have produced onions, chard and cabbage, among other vegetables.

The plants that protect their lands

Mr.Primitivo Mamani, from the community of El Plato, brings seeds to the community garden where they will be chosen before being taken to the river bank to be planted. Planting along the river protects their land from floods during the rainy season.

Organizing plants that will be planted later

Mr.Primitivo Mamanim from El Plato, organizes the seeds of these small trees by species and size, which will later be planted to protect the communal lands.

Neighbours also help organize plants

Neighbours from El Plato organize the seeds for the next phase. These seeds, once planted, will provide a natural defence to prevent reoccurring floods which have the ability to wreck their crops.

The women also help organize the plants

Doña Alicia Tito, from El Plato, brings seeds to the communal garden to be organized by species and size.

The women find different methods to transport the plants

Some women carry the seeds in wheelbarrows while others, like Paulina Mansilla, have come up with other ways of doing the job and helping the community.

The women are in charge of the seeds and gardens

Work with the seeds and the gardens, has principally fallen on women. Meanwhile, the hard labour is done by the men of the community.

Seedings, defences, gardens and nutrition training have shown the close relationship between disaster risk reduction and food security for more than 600 settler families in 11 communities in the municipality of San Julián in Santa Cruz. These communities, highland and valley cultural enclaves in the middle of the eastern plain, are participating in the modality “Food Vouchers.” This programme is implemented by WFP for the first time as a pilot programme in Bolivia. Families receive coupons to be exchanged for food as an incentive for the production of gardens, constructing defences, and participation in nutrition training.