The landlocked country of Zambia located in Southern Africa is one the poorest countries in the world. According to the World Food Programme, 14.3% of the adult population are living with HIV resulting in 1 in 5 children being orphaned. Due to intermittent drought and a missing generation of people (due to HIV) food insecurity is a reoccurring fact of life for 350,000 people in Zambia. According to the World Bank (2015) 48% of Zambians are undernourished. These huge societal challenges are being met by local churches addressing issues such as Food Insecurity in sustainable and transformational ways.
BREADtrust works exclusively with local churches which represent the most effective and sustainable agents of community transformation. Rather than assuming to know the answers, BREADtrust supports and facilitates, through on-going relationships the vision and know-how of local experts. BREADtrust is collaborating with a group of churches in Zambia called Newfrontiers led by Dr Joseph Mwila who is based in Kitwe, Copperbelt.
Joseph oversees 30 churches within Zambia and amongst other things is committed to seeing communities begin to address Food Insecurity, which has affected the lives of so many.
Foundations for Farming is a zero-tillage methodology developed in Zimbabwe for small-scale farmers. It has proven incredibly successful in producing a more than 50% increase in yields. Through training trainers this effective means of improving food security is being rolled out over a number of countries in Southern Africa. However, as well as teaching the specific agricultural requirements and techniques this approach also focuses on teaching people values such as; faithfulness, giving, doing things on time, at a high standard, without wasting resources and doing it all with the joy of the Lord as their strength. Foundations for Farming teaches people to be faithful with what God has given them, no matter how small that thing may be.
Joseph Mwila has adopted the Foundations for Farming methodology and experienced trainers based in Mkushi have already trained 10 trainers. BREADtrust is supporting is the establishment and demonstration of Foundations for Farming plots through the local church to local communities. Kitwe, Mongu, Kasungula, Choma and Kabwe are the designated bases, which seek to demonstrate this extraordinary agrarian revolution.
There are two phases to developing Foundations for Farming in Zambia. The first is cascading training to local farmers. In 2017 the Choma, Kasungula and Kabwe trainers have initially trained more than 60 local small scale famers. These are now ready to develop their own plots. In early Autumn 2017 many of these farmers will be preparing plots 50m x 50m for planting maize and other crops.
Each of these local farmers will be working in local co-operatives enabling farming inputs such as seeds and fertiliser to be bought in due course from the Government of Zambia at subsidised costs. It also provides a mechanism for farmers to sell surplus harvest at a stable price.
BREADtrust is seeking financial support in order to increase the number of small scale farmers trained at the bases in Kitwe and Mongu and support small scale farmers with initial farming inputs to be provided in a timely manner to take full advantage of the rains.