Zambia, Africa

ZAM28 - Kitchen garden training and micro-enterprise loan programmes: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: April 23, 2011

Report from Jerry & Hayley

 

After training at Maplehurst Farm in mindsets and farming, the Bright Hope partners went back to their homes and trained people in the villages. Where the people were trained and were faithful by preparing their fields, some micro loans were issued to help them with inputs.

 

Planted 2 December
 

Recent events

Chaba

In Chaba 15 people were issued micro loans. We visited six farms in the Chaba region. The results here were varied. We tested people on their knowledge of the new methods and they do know what they are meant to do, but practically they have failed to be faithful with the total farming method.

Some of the issues we saw were:
• Not planting on time, most planted in mid December which is too late for the season. It was interesting to see one field where Judas planted some maize on the 2nd Dec and some on the 22nd Dec. The difference was very noticeable, and he has learnt the lesson that he must plant on time.

Planted too late
 

• Lack of weeding. People have weeded 2 to 3 times, versus the minimum 6 times required in the first year of the methods. This is a big job, but key for the crops to have good yields. 

• Planting too big an area. Trying to do a lima (50m x 50m) has been too big for these families. They would be better planting a smaller area and doing the job well as they would get a better harvest from lower costs of inputs.

• Lack of agricultural lime. Only one person managed to get lime. It is available from 80km up the road. The board members are going to talk to the agricultural supplier to ensure lime is available in the region for next season.

They are still interested in trying again next year. Note that the farmers in Chaba have not been growing maize for a number of years.

Harvest is still one to two months away so the full results will not be known until then. We talked about the need for the loans to be repaid so that there would be funds for the next year. 

 

Only one in village
 

Kaishe

In Kaishe, although 25 people were trained only one person has taken up the new way of farming. He took no loan. In fact the community (including his wife) have been laughing at him telling him these new methods will not work.

Charles Chibale was the only one to grow the maize using the new methods. He has done an average job and realizes he has made some mistakes:
• Not being there when he was away on an evangelism course so didn’t supervise the planting of his maize
• Starting with too big an area. He decided to stop weeding the total area and concentrate on a portion to see what difference the weeding would make to the yield. He sees now the importance of weeding.
• Wants to include a portion for legumes and crop rotation next year.

The weeded portion is looking very good. People in the village are now not laughing so much anymore, and as Charles says “in fact, even his wife is saying we should carry on with the method next year!”

 

Ideas for the future

For Chaba we will wait to see the results of the loan program before deciding on what can happen next year. The Board is to take the farmers to see each other’s fields to try and visually show the differences the correct techniques make in the yield.

Kaishe, Charles will try again to grow a smaller portion, and look to train a smaller number of people.

Bright Hope is running a refresher course for all of the partners in Chingola in early May. The purpose of this is to go over the key aspects, especially those that have not been followed.