Thoughts from author: Katie W

Words from yam farmers of Madagascar

Over the past three years, the innocent Foundation has partnered with Feedback Madagascar to support a project aiming to develop yam cultivation as a sustainable income-generating activity for target communities.

We’re really excited about the impact that this project has had and, whilst we’d happily sit here and share all the details with you, we thought these people would do a better job…

Over to you, yam farmers of Madagascar:

  Yam farmer marohita

‘I harvested about 2 tons last yam harvest. We ate 1 and a half, kept 150kg for seed and distributed 350kg to other members. We ate yams non-stop for 6 months and didn't feel hungry at all during the 'hungry season' and whilst we were house-building.’
Ralaikoa Jean Baptist from Soafanolo, Ambohimahamasina Commune.

Rapinaivola's wife & daughter

‘As we only produced 60kg we kept all of it for seed for the 2012-13 season. We became convinced of the benefits of yam farming after seeing results that other yam farmers got after being trained. Yams are a fantastic food for children, making them chubby!’
Rapinaivola from Soalazaina, Sendrisoa Commune (Rapinaivola's wife & daughter are pictured above).

Cooked yam

‘We harvested 1,800kg in the last yam harvest, which we ate for 5 months (…). I'm satisfied with the results we got and love yams as they're easily digested and healthy. My family continually try to improve the yam recipes we use, for example making yams into baby food or mixing them with different vegetables or beans.’
Rahaovalahy Samuël from Antsahabe, Sendrisoa Commune (there's a photo of some cooked yam above).

Ramana & children 

‘I gained 100,000 Ariary from selling yams: enough to pay for school kits for my 4 children.’
Ramana "Rawily", Chief of Fokontany (pictured above with two of his children).

If you’d like to hear more about Feedback Madagascar, click here. And you can find out more about the innocent Foundation and the projects we work with here.

prehistoric rocks

...or so it seems.

Say hello to our Dinosaur friends, spotted in Fruit Towers c. 2013.

1) Thesaurus (found by the books on Floor 4)

The dino on floor 4


2) IT Rex

IT rex


3) From left to right: Pat the Apatosaurus (oh yes), Steve the Stegosaurus, Tony the T Rex

Tony steve and pat


4) And finally, Jurassock Park (the unseen footage)



Say hello to Ms Ngoc

This is Ms Ngoc, a rice farmer who lives in Vietnam with her two young daughters.

Ms ngoc

Rural Vietnamese farmers heavily rely on rice production for their food and income, but producing rice is often costly and difficult work. Ms Ngoc was able to grow just enough rice to feed her family, but not enough to make any money for herself or her children.

The innocent Foundation works with NGOs to deliver our vision of sustainable farming for a secure future. Over the past few years, we have funded a project with IDE UK who work with poor rural households to create income and livelihood opportunities for families like Ms Ngoc’s. It was through this project that Ms Ngoc heard about a new Fertiliser Deep Placement (FDP) technology at her local Women’s Union group.

FDP is a process where fertiliser is compressed into a small pellet full of goodness. This pellet can be put into the ground alongside rice plants to increase crop production. Ms Ngoc applied it to her crop, harvested over 100 kg more rice than before (that’s a lot of rice) and made a nice profit in the process.

More rice, more money and a very happy family indeed. 

Craig's trip to the Crees Foundation

From time to time, we like to visit some of our innocent foundation partners to say hello.

In the past, you may have seen stories from innocent people like Helen, JT, Emilie, Andrew, Clover and Emma, all of whom have visited foundation projects all over the world to share their skills and expertise where possible. Now, it’s our Craig’s turn. He heads off to Peru to work with the Crees Foundation this weekend and we’re really excited that someone from innocent is having the chance to work with this really remote project.

The innocent foundation agreed to support the GROW project set up by the Crees Foundation in 2010 for 3 years. The aim of the project is to boost local income and improve child and adult health by diverting activity away from environmentally damaging sources of income, and working with local people to develop family biogardens and community plots and promote agroforestry.

Since 2010, things have gone really well and produce is being grown in the biogardens (see photograph of Senora Rebeca Paccori in her biogarden below). Tasty, fresh veggies have really helped to improve diet and health, and the surplus crop can be sold for income. That’s where Craig will come in handy. Craig works in our commercial team selling our veg pots so he’ll be putting his skills to good use – working with the GROW project to investigate ways to market the surplus produce, so that the growers can make as much money as possible.

Senora rebeca paccori in her biogarden


We’re hoping Craig will be able to send us an update from Peru* so watch this space for more.

*worry not, Craig, we know that’s probably easier said than done when you’re in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest.