GRASS ROOTS FARMERS CONTRIBUTE TO NEPAL FLOOD RELIEF
Last month—before hurricane Harvey hit the U.S.—Nepal was devastated by flooding that killed 150 people and destroyed over 90,000 homes. As a result, the country is facing a severe food shortage as more than 80 percent of the agricultural belt of Nepal was submerged under water. This disaster occurred shortly after most farmers had planted their seasonal rice crop. Additionally, thousands of head of livestock have disappeared.
To contribute to Heifer International’s aid work in Nepal, Grass Roots will be donating 10% of all ecommerce sales to the organization’s relief efforts.
Though our farms are geographically thousands of miles from this disaster, the stories of the impact on the lives of the Nepalese people are deeply felt in the Grass Roots community. As farmers, we understand the tragedy of losing labor, resources, and livelihoods. But this is situation is even more personal because Grass Roots’s origins are rooted in a visit to the very same communities now suffering.
In 2013, Cody Hopkins—co-owner and farmer at Falling Sky Farm—traveled to Nepal with a group of farmers from the U.S. Arkansas Delta and Appalachia. Heifer organized the trip to share their work building collaborative agricultural systems and to facilitate cross-cultural conversations. The group visited several villages around the country and connected with farmers working as cooperatives. Inspired by the success of this cooperation, Cody returned to Arkansas and began organizing small-scale farmers from around the state.
Grass Roots was established, with the support of Heifer, in no small part because of the influence of the Nepalese farmers. And it’s in this same spirit of cooperation that we want to contribute to the relief work assisting these villages rebuild their homes and their livelihoods.
In the days following the flooding, Heifer worked with local governments and cooperatives to distribute relief supplies to over 11,000 families. The next steps will be to rebuild homes, infrastructure and to restore agricultural systems. Grass Roots’s donation will support the 21,000 farming families in southern Nepal that lost crops and livestock as they work to restore their livelihoods.