Ersi

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Ersi Biliu and her husband in Timor, Indonesia, could only afford to buy one packet of vegetable seeds at a time. They would divide the packet and grow the vegetables in two batches. Their meager garden barely produced enough for their family of six children. When the last of the vegetables was harvested, they would not eat any more vegetables until they could afford another seed packet.

A One Great Hour of Sharing-support program provided Ms. Biliu’s family with several seed packets at once as well as an informational session about nutrition. Just these few extra seed packets along with some education helped this family take the first steps to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.

They grew Chinese cabbage, red peppers, long bean, green bean, and eggplant from the seeds they received. “We harvested early this month and have included vegetables in every meal since,” explains Ms. Biliu. They were able to sell the excess vegetables in the market and used the extra income to purchase fish and to provide for other household needs.

“We started the next planting batch right after we harvested,” says Ms. Biliu. “Now, not only can we fulfill our vitamin and mineral needs from the vegetables, we can also fulfill our protein needs from the money we earned from selling the produce. I’m now more motivated in farming than ever.”