The #MEDAField2Fork2022 photo contest asked readers to submit pictures highlighting the agrifood sector, depicting the production, processing, distribution, or sale of food. The winning entries featured on the cover of this issue and i provide a glimpse into agriculture in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, India, and Uganda. The accompanying text was taken from information provided by the photographers.
Winner: Dave Klassen
Dave Klassen took these winning photos while working on contract with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Shila Ranidash raises quail and harvests eggs they lay
Shila Ranidash raises quail and harvests eggs they lay. Small-scale farmers in Bangladesh are being introduced to quail because of many advantages the birds have over chicken. Quail lay 250-300 eggs a year, require limited space, are resistant to disease and consume a small amount of food.
This project, facilitated by the Peoples Union of the Marginalized Development Organization, supports food security, basic infrastructure development, and technology skills training. It also builds both capacity and self-reliance of farmers in marginalized communities.
Farmers in northern Bangladesh attend a yard meeting
Farmers in northern Bangladesh attend a yard meeting as part of training activities to improve livelihoods and agriculture production using techniques that are safe for the environment.
Saving seeds for the next planting season using the pictured plastic containers helps people gain control over the kinds of seeds they use and reduces the cost. Project partner Poll Unnoyan Prokolpo helps support 700 farm families by facilitating training on practices such as integrated pest management, for more profitable vegetable production and better health.
Rutendo Ngundu works inside a greenhouse
Rutendo Ngundu works inside a greenhouse operated by the Sandra Jones Centre in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The centre runs a vocational training program for young girls and women, aged 16-22, who have experienced some form of abuse, poverty and most likely have no education.
Training participants are given a greenhouse to look after from planting until harvest. After the sale of the produce, each is given the profit and the centre retains the initial capital for the next participant.
Runner Up: Radha Vyas
Radha Vyas, a graduate student at Dallas Theological seminary, took these photos during a trip to Gujarat state in northwestern India.
Fruit and vegetable stands
Fruit and vegetable stands and all kinds of animals are a frequent scene throughout India. Animals like this calf appear to be unattended. They are let out in the early part of the day and return home at the end of the day.
Cows are often kept at home in this majority Hindu nation to provide milk for families. Farmers travelling with their water buffalos, camels and cows set up carts laden with the fruit and vegetables from their farms all over the city for city dwellers to purchase.
Boat filled with coconuts
While walking through a lengthy riverside outdoor marketplace in the streets of Ahmedabad, the fifth most populous city in India, Vyas saw a boat filled with brown coconuts steered by a solitary young boy. The river, otherwise empty, stood in contrast to a market teeming with people.
The young boy stood out to her because of his small haul and the smallness of his own size. Children can often be seen working for their families in Indian markets and farms. Brown coconuts, sometimes used in Hindu rituals, are also used to make chutneys, desserts and cooking oils.
Third Place: Margo Head
Tea bushes in Uganda
Rolling hills covered in a sea of green tea bushes can be seen while driving through southwestern Uganda. Tea, one of the country’s big cash crops, was introduced by the British in the early 1900s. About one million people directly derive their livelihood from tea growing. Much of the production of this popular beverage is labor intensive.
Tea estates produce 54 per cent of the tea, while smaller “mom and pop” operations account for 46 percent of total acreage. Uganda mostly produces black tea. The difference between green and black tea has to do with the way each is processed.
Green tea is unfermented (not oxidized), while black tea is completely fermented or oxidized. Tea is predominantly grown in high-altitude locations. Stable temperatures, fertile soils and two rainy seasons over much of the country can lead to several crop harvests a year.