Earlier this year, there was great celebration in one of the communities we’ve been working with in Burundi, as our many friends there experienced an abundant harvest of maize, having just implemented Foundations for Farming for the first time.
It was very moving to witness the farmers carrying their harvest on their heads, so full of hope and joy, knowing that they are now well on their way to being able to provide for their families, if they continue to farm in this way.
Foundations for Farming, formerly known as Farming God’s Way, is a way of farming originally pioneered in Zimbabwe, which when applied faithfully, produces far greater yields than traditional farming; on average 10 times more. Just imagine the impact of such increase for those who are poor and who are struggling to feed their families. It’s no wonder the families we’ve been working with are so excited!
Burundi is currently one of the poorest, least developed and hungriest nations in the world. In the communities we’re working in, as in much of Burundi, daily life is a battle for survival. Those we have been supporting have suffered great hardship as a result of natural disasters, political unrest and the economic crisis in the nation. They have lost homes and livelihoods through no fault of their own. They work as hard as they possibly can, but work is extremely difficult to come by and even when they manage to earn something, it’s not enough to cover even the very basics of life. Parents are often forced to choose between providing shelter or food. Very few can manage both.
We’ve been supporting those in crisis by providing food and supplying vulnerable children with milk each day to help prevent malnourishment and these efforts have made a huge difference but our Burundian friends long to have the dignity of being able to provide for themselves and their families. When we explained about Foundations for Farming and the opportunity to learn this method, there was such an eagerness to do the training. It’s the answer they have been longing for.
The trainee farmers worked extremely hard learning and implementing this new method, working alongside two trainers who came to Burundi to help teach them this new way, which is based on how God does things in nature. The trainees were exceptional in their attitude, dedication and faithfulness. The results speak for themselves!
With the maize crops standing so tall and healthy and with the contrast with traditional crops so obvious, many local people asked how such results could be possible. They too want to learn and we are eager to do all we can to enable as many families as possible to learn how to farm in this way.
Having such yields is literally life-changing. In time, as families implement this method of farming and continue to apply it faithfully, they will not only be able to sustain their families but will have surplus left over to sell and this income can then be used to pay school fees, medical bills and to cover other needs.
Our team on the ground is working extremely hard to train more farmers and to raise up trainers as well. Currently we have another 50 trainees learning Foundations for Farming and the previous group of trainees are about to plant again. They will be monitored and supported throughout the season to ensure that they have the skills needed to sustain themselves.
We are now seeking to find land, so that we can scale up the training and also provide families with plots so that they can grow food for their family. From a plot just 16m x 39m a family can live for a year on the food they grow and will even have enough seed left over for the following season to plant again. Sustainability is no longer a dream. Food security is within reach.
We truly believe that the changes that will come as a result of families implementing Foundations for Farming are not only life-changing for the those who directly benefit, but will impact whole communities. There is huge potential to even bring transformation on a much wider scale, across the nation, especially when you consider the knock-on impact on health, development, education and the economy.
We’re aiming to give every family in the communities we’re working in the opportunity to learn Foundations for Farming and to then support them in implementing it on their own plot of land. From each group we train, we aim to raise up two new trainers to work alongside our core team, until their skills and expertise are such that they can train others, so that eventually, our Burundian friends can offer this incredible life-changing opportunity right across Burundi.
Would you like to help? Could you fund a farmer, and help feed a nation?
A one-off donation of £35 will provide a trainee with a starter kit, which includes seeds and all the items needed to start Foundations for Farming. If you’d like to help a farmer and his/her family, please give here. Thank you so much!
We long for every family in the communities we are working with to have the dignity of being able to look after itself; to have food, shelter, safe drinking water, an income for clothing and medical needs and to pay school fees, so that every child can grow up with hope for their future and hope for their nation.