Food Plant Solutions has a strong partnership with The Mustard Seed Institute, formed by Jean Nepo, a Genocide Survivor. Jean was eleven years old when his entire family was brutally killed by machete wielding militias and government soldiers.
The Mustard Seed Institute (MSI) was born from a vision to nurture practical reconciliation and peace in the community, by bringing local people together to build an agricultural enterprise that provides training, job and business opportunities to the desperately poor community. Jean Nepo explains; “We cannot just talk about reconciliation and peace, we must have practical programs to actively combat extreme poverty and the spread of Genocide ideology, the generators of conflict”.
In 2017 Jean Nepo and his Australian wife, Sabrina, commenced construction of an Agricultural Training Centre on the land, providing courses, introducing animals and crops, and begin the production of value added products. Jean Nepo explains; “We have a daughter, children are innocent and our goal is to break the cycle of hatred so that the children of perpetrators and survivors can live together in peace and all prosper by working together.”
Jean Nepo concludes; “Recently we formed a partnership with Food Plant Solutions, who will provide us with information on what plants to grow that are suited to our environment, require minimal inputs and most importantly are very high in nutrients. This will assist us in achieving food security and reducing malnutrition. Our partnership with FPS will help to enable us to achieve our vision.”
The Mustard Seed Institute has reviewed the draft field guide created by Food Plant Solutions ‘Potentially Important Food Plants of Rwanda’ with the local community, including trained agronomists and are currently having the guide translated, into the local language of Kinyarwanda. MSI believe that the Field Guide will be a great asset in their work of improving malnutrition levels and increasing food security in the community.”
Following the creation of the field guide, Food Plant Solutions is attempting to raise funds to create the next publication ‘Food Plants for Healthy Diets in Rwanda’. Based on the field guide, this publication is primarily pictorial and ideal for those with low levels of literacy.
The total cost is $2500 AUD and to date $2000 AUD has been raised. There are a further 3 publications to create after this one, each at a cost of $2500 each. All donations will be acknowledged in the publication.
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