Growing for change competition - helping Bolivia towards food security

World vision
Wednesday, 21st September 2011

Many common vegetables fail to survive in Bolivia because of harsh mountain conditions, including a scorching tropical sun, freezing nights, winds and flash floods, made worse by the rapidly changing climate. But a new greenhouse project provided by World Vision means children are now enjoying fruit and veg.

With just over a week until the end of September, the closing date is fast approaching for UK gardeners to take a picture of the home-grown vegetable that they are most proud of and upload it at

People across the UK will then vote for their favourite vegetable and the top ten will be judged by the expert growers in Bolivia.

Celebrity chef, Antony Worrall Thompson is backing the global version of the old-fashioned village vegetable competition which aims to draw attention to the difficult situation in Bolivia. He comments:

'Some families in the Bolivian Altiplano are seeing fresh vegetables for the first time in their lives. It's inspiring that parents are working so hard to provide this for their children in really tough conditions.

'The quality of a child's nutrition not only has a huge health impact now, but in later life too. And if you can't concentrate at school because you're not eating the right food, you're going to have fewer opportunities.

'As a supporter of World Vision, I'm keen to visit Bolivia myself next year to find out what new and wonderful recipes families are cooking up - and share ideas, so we can all learn a bit more about food in this fascinating part of the world.'

Malnutrition in Bolivia

Figures from the government of Bolivia show 11,500 children die each year in the country due to causes related to malnutrition. 

Chris Weeks, a spokesperson for World Vision UK, said: 'Growing your own vegetables isn't that easy if you live 15,000 feet up a mountain with no access to transport. It means some children in Bolivia only eat starchy food like potatoes, leading to all sorts of lifelong medical problems.

'Our Growing for Change vegetable contest is a bit of fun, with the serious aim of showing families in Bolivia that we care about the issue – and that we'll join them in the fight to end generations of child malnutrition.'

The Growing for Change judging panel live in a remote part of the Andes, in a district called Tacopaya. They are growing their own salad, fruit and vegetables in simple greenhouses made form local resources, built with help from World Vision.

Prizes to be won!

The winner of the online competition will be announced in October and will receive a prize of £500 worth of gardening tools, pots, seeds and plants from – with a £500 donation going to a World Vision nutrition project.

Further information

Visit the World Vision website

Take a look at the gallery of vegetables people have already sent in

Follow them on twitter @WorldVision