FAO in Pakistan

Improving access to safe and nutritious food for smallholder farmers


When 30-year-old Wasu first started her kitchen garden she did not know what to expect. She had never imagined that she would become economically independent and will not have to worry about where the next meal for her children would come from. 

Not many women in village Ghariban, a remote village located in district Tharparkar of Sindh province, have the same opportunities as Wasu. With four children to feed and with an unsteady income from her husband’s daily labour, Wasu and her family often struggled to meet their household expenses.  There were also days when there was no income at all and the family was forced to sell their livestock to make ends meet.

“It was difficult for us to manage our household expenses. At times my husband did not find any work at all. This meant that we did not have money to buy vegetables from the market,” said Wasu.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with support from United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) introduced kitchen gardening to local women farmers at the village level. These women farmers were also provided seeds and animal compound feed to help them sustain their livelihoods. 

The prospect of providing food security to her family came to life for Wasu when she was invited to one such community meeting where she learned about skills and techniques which would eventually help her establish her own kitchen garden. 

“FAO teams trained us in skills that would help us set-up our kitchen gardens. This was an opportunity for me to prove myself. I started working in the garden. To my surprise the vegetables once ready were as good as the ones we used to get from the market,” said Wasu. “I could pick out fresh vegetables to cook for my children right from my doorstep.”

Wasu also received a wheel barrow for the kitchen garden which her husband is also able to use for his daily wage work. They can now easily carry water from a source 1km away from their home.

Now that we are feeding the goats animal compound feed they are much healthier and produce more milk. Our lives have taken a turn for the better. Shukria! (Thankyou!),” says Wasu.