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INT06 - Foundations for Farming: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: September 14, 2016

Update from BHW Agricultural Director 


February 2016 Trip

doing wellIndia

In February 2016 Hayley Field, Cisca and myself travelled to India and Kenya. We first visited Kakinada to have a look at the buffalo project of our partners there after which we travelled to Lucknow. Here we did a full training in Foundations for Farming at the Delhi Bible Institute campus there. The participation of the selected (ex)students was encouraging. We are anticipating the need for a repeat visit here in 2017.


From here we went to Kenya and held a training course in Nguluni. The training went well but unfortunately our partner there did not appear to be fully “on board” with it all. We have suggested follow up from Francis Ogembo and Jesse Killel (KEN07a).

This was followed by a Foundations for Farming training in Got Osimbo by Francis and myself. We had a very positive response here from the small number of participants and again subsequent feedback has been encouraging. Francis has since been back for follow up here. 


July 2016 Trip

Rukungiri, Uganda

In Uganda our trip started with a long bus ride and several vehicle changes to get to Rukungiri, close to the border with the Congo. Here I took a three day Foundations for Farming (FfF) training course to which about 28 people came. Last year four people from this area came to a training I held in Jinja. They are seeing good results and had asked for a training in their own area. The aim, as always, is to train ‘trainers’ and to this end we have highlighted a couple of people to do further follow-up and training with. This training was a success.

We also visited the little dairy unit (12 cows) of our BHW partner (UGA07). The profit generated here is used to fund a Marumba Christian School (UGA07a). This is one of the few places where having livestock works. In general we haven’t had much success with livestock projects, but this is encouraging.

Jinja, Uganda

From Rukungiri it was onto Jinja where I had a day with our BHW partner there who has been training lots of people in FfF for a few years now. Thomas and Joyce Lubari are themselves refugees from South Sudan. It was really good to meet up and talk thru their challenges/problems.

We left them a pocket projector so they can use it for the training videos - great appropriate technology.

Kween, Uganda

great resultsWe then travelled further east and after a night in Mbale, we arrived in Kween. I had looked forward to being here. A few years ago a couple of guys had come to a FfF training somewhere and the results with their farming now were above expectation, even though this area is semi arid. It is very dry here and there are also other challenges - a particularly bad termite problem and the Karamajo people still raid other peoples livestock etc. Their belief, like the Masai in Tanzania and Kenya, is that all cows and goats belong to them. The government, after many years, has succeeded to disarm them so less people get killed but it still is a problem. About 15-20 years ago all the people were driven off their land and it took about 10 years before they started to return. Then it was discovered that corrupt officials had changed the title deeds of their land and sold the land to investors. Some of that has now been resolved. 

Our BHW partners here, James and Gorret, have started a school as it was too far to walk anywhere else. Now about 300 children are coming to it in this sparsely populated and impoverished area. I only had one full day here but 75 people came to a Question and Answer day on FfF. Half of the people were Christian and half Muslim. It ended up a very fruitful day.

The Muslims didn’t seem to have a problem with the teaching which is openly Christian and the whole group really appreciated the prayertime at the end of the day. 

Tunduru, Tanzania

I then went on to Tunduru, Tanzania, to give a full training in a strongly Muslim village called Mchuluka. After some obvious initial suspicion the training went well. Our contact here has established three little groups who will compete growing their crops. 

very profitableAngoche, Mozambique

In Mozambique I was joined by Jerry Field and we gave a full three-day training in Angoche in response to the request of our BHW partner after the one-day introduction to FfF we did last year. Before the training we visited a number of fields of people who had been part of that introductory session and we were encouraged by the progress made. The training went well and we anticipate good progress here. Hopefully a future visit will lead to us identifying some potential trainers here as well.


Plans for 2017

practical trainingI am hoping to undertake visits to India and Myanmar depending on results and requests from people on the ground. Rukungiri in Uganda, Nguluni and Got Osimbo in Kenya, and Angoche in Mozambique will need follow-up visits. I am particularly keen to re-visit Burundi next year after apparently very encouraging results from a training a few years back. Our BHW partners there are very keen on a follow-up training. 

There are also invitations from Rwanda and Botswana. Due to the proximity of these countries it makes sense to include them but we need to consider our capacity for follow-up visits.