Continuing to Bear Fruit during the Pandemic
With support from USAID Small Project Assistance (SPA), the Peace Corps Volunteer and community launched a nutrition and economic development program to increase the production, consumption, and sale of kiwi as well as other fruits and nuts.
Durlung is a small community in Parbat District situated at an elevation of 1,550 meters above sea level, and is 2 hours from the nearest town center. Upon arriving to Durlung, one Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) found a community interested to learn new agricultural and income generation practices, and to promote easy, affordable access to nutritious foods. With support from USAID Small Project Assistance (SPA), the PCV and community launched a nutrition and economic development program to increase the production, consumption, and sale of kiwi as well as other fruits and nuts.
When the PCV was evacuated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community leaders and farmers took over the responsibility and continued the project. Through regular phone calls with the community, Peace Corps staff have learned that community leaders like Hom Bahadur are working with more than 4o households in the community. Each household has cultivated up to 75 seedlings of different species of fruit trees. With support from the Agriculture Knowledge Center (AKC), these households have also diversified their orchards with almond, cherry, apricot, avocado, apple and macadamia trees. Considering the global evacuation of PCVs and the acute impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural households, it is comforting to know that SPA supported projects continue to bear fruit.