YOUR February peace mail from Zimbabwe
I work as a Project Assistant for the Zimbabwe Council of Churches’ Conservation Farming program. You have supported our work for many years and I want to thank you.
Conservation farming is all about making sure that a farmer produces enough food for the whole family in spite of difficult climate conditions from very little rain.
Farmers in Zimbabwe are very resilient. They work hard and are eager to learn, and once they learn about conservation farming, they get to work implementing new skills.
Conservation farming comprises of techniques for spacing, planting and mulching crops, as well as building filtration pits. All this helps maintain water and nutrients in the soil when rains come. In my job I train the farmers in my district and visit them regularly to help with any queries they may have. My team also distributes seeds amongst the first year farmers. I really like my job because I help marginalised families, those who don’t have very much to transform their lives. It makes me happy when someone goes from relying on food aid to being self-sufficient.
Before people start our conservation farming program they have very little food and it is not varied or nutritious. Without using their own farm to produce enough food, it can be difficult to get money to buy things they need and they live a hard life. At first they don’t believe that it will ever be possible to get enough food for their family on their small farm plot with dry soil, but when you introduce them to conservation farming they realise that the land they have - the very piece of land they own - can make wonders for them.
When people join the program there is lot of change that takes place in their lives. They will produce a lot of food – enough for their family, and they may have surplus food that can be sold. Then they will have money to buy livestock. They can also pay school fees for their children, clothe their families or even to go to hospital, or buy a few gadgets that can make them comfortable in their homes.
I would like to see farmers in Zimbabwe become really self-sustainable and resilient, and be able to produce enough food from their farm for their families. I would like to see farmers with livestock, goats, cattle, chickens, foals. I would like to see farmers and their families have food to eat which is nutritious, with vegetables in the garden and stores of grain to fall back on should the rains fail. I would like to see most of the farmers in Zimbabwe doing conservation farming because it makes farmers independent and self-reliant.
I would like to say to the people of Australia, we are very grateful for what you are doing for the people in Zimbabwe. You have moved them in the right direction, and I wish God will bless you.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches
Download this Peace Mail in pdf
Your gift is making a difference:
$65 Farmer’s Starter Kit – can provide a famer with training and seeds to produce nourishing food and a source of income.
$150 Farmyard Bundle – Chicks, baby turkeys, fish and baby goats. This farmyard bundle will give families in Zimbabwe a source of income, nourishing food and the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.
You may have seen Zimbabwe’s recent election process and unrest in the news. We encourage you to pray for the people of Zimbabwe, the farmers and their families that we work with, and our partner, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches.
Your support is helping Act for Peace’s partner, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), teach Conservation Farming techniques to farmers living in drought-prone regions. The farming techniques that they’ve used for generations just aren’t working any more. Conservation farming is well suited to the changes in climate and low rainfall and is proving highly successful.
With your kind, regular gifts, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches works with men and women to implement best practices in farming through enhanced soil fertility, mulching, organic composting, crop rotations and water resource management.
The program works intensively on mentoring and growing skills within a community of farmers. People are trained over three years and farmers graduate from beginner to lead farmers, many of whom then go on to encourage other farmers to join the program. Apart from providing much needed nutrients in the food for a healthy family, conservation farming increases crop yields and reduces dependency on food aid in the longer-term.
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