Foundations for Farming – Malawi 2017

Foundations of farming feature

Malawi and Mozambique remain two of the poorest of the poor countries in the world. There is a continual problem of hunger and the subsistence farmer faces yearly challenges. While we have assisted with maize during the most difficult of times, we are incapable of ministering to all the needs of the thousands of people who are fellowshipping in the Church of God. I became aware of the very poor farming practices of most of the people in the country and desired to see the cycle of poverty broken through better agricultural techniques. We were able to find an organization in Malawi that gives training for this very purpose—Crown Ministries.

With much gratitude for donors who supported this effort, Ethan and I attended a one-week training with five farmers from congregations in Malawi and Mozambique. Four of the farmers will continue the training for the entire month. Our desire is to see them return to their congregations and villages and not only implement but teach others what they have learned.

The program is geared to teaching the substance farmer basic foundations of farming which will improve productivity while lessening the dependency on fertilizer which is very expensive. Many of the people in the villages are actually operating at a loss when they grow maize.

Briefly, most farmers burn their field to rid it of the harvested maize stalks etc. They till the soil by hand and make high ridges upon which to plant their maize. Ridging is causing much erosion and soil loss by the wind and rain. The fields are not getting the nutrients they need and moisture is being evaporated into the air. Crown Ministries teaches 4 principles of how to farm.

1. On Time.              2. High standards.            3. Without wastage.          4. With Joy.

The evidence is in that zero-tillage farming is much better for the land in numerous way. We were taught how to plant seed at a high standard through uniformity by making consistent planting stations which are used year after year. The maize stalks and leaves are to be left on the fields as a blanket to help retain moisture and to put the nutrients back into the ground. We learned how to make high grade compost which will eventually completely take the place of fertilizer when used properly. This method has worked for those who have implemented the knowledge.

Knowledge takes time and I do not look for an overnight solution, but this method of farming will go a long way to helping the entire country if people will be willing to leave generations of practices which have caused a cycle of poverty in their land. The Church of God, the farmer, and I thank the donors who made this possible. We also thank Crown Ministry for their love and dedication to the people of Malawi. As God provides, we are interested in sending more farmers from the congregations through this training to help make a lasting difference.


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