Foundations for Farming

Foundations for Farming is a programme used by Bright Hope World partners that challenges mindsets and traditions related to using land and growing crops.

Foundations for Farming

According to the Foundations for Farming website "Foundations for Farming started many years ago when the farm which Brian Oldreive was managing in the north of Zimbabwe was nearing bankruptcy. Burning and deep soil inversion were common practice on the farm causing terrible sheet erosion to occur resulting in loss of seed and water. Increasing amounts of money were being spent on the machinery required for ploughing and double rollings of the lands, and yet the yields were declining.

Being a man of faith, Brian asked God to reveal a way for him to get out of the dire situation he found himself in. God began to reveal to him that in natural creation there is no deep soil inversion and that a thick ‘blanket’ of fallen leaves and grass covers the surface of the soil. This led him to research how he could apply these ways of nature to his farming. He began to experiment with Zero-Tillage using a simple hoe on 2 Ha at the highest standards possible. The results were outstanding and so he had the faith to increase the hectarage under Zero-Tillage. Within six years the whole farm of 1,000 Ha was under minimum tillage and in subsequent years, due to the yearly profits from then on, other farms were bought and he oversaw the farming of 3,500 Ha."

Foundations for Farming is based on four key principles:

  1. On Time - Effective farming requires tasks (such as planting and weeding) to be done promptly at the right time
  2. At Standard - Effective farming requires tasks to be done to a standard of excellence with exact measurements
  3. No Waste - Effective farming requires avoiding wasting resources, energy and oportunities
  4. With Joy - Effective farming requires a good attitude and a joyful heart

In 2008 in Zambia it became obvious to Bright Hope World Zambia Partnership Facilitators Jerry & Hayley Field that the local people were hungry, but they had an abundance of resources, with land and good rainfall. The partners in Zambia were always asking for help in farming. The question arose: how do we empower the partners to help themselves with the Land and resources that God has given them?

Foundations for Farming

While pondering this question, and trying to think about horticulture and subsistence farming methods, God pointed the Fields towards Foundations for Farming. Jerry and Hayley were "a little grunmpy" at having to transport partners 100km out of their way to Luwansha to find out about Foundations For Farming. They talked with the people undertaking the courses, and saw a way to learn, try and then teach a set of principles and methods that was developed on the ground in Africa for African people.

In fact Foundations for Farming can be used anywhere in the world. It is such a biblically-based model, and puts God and the gospel at the heart of restoring the land to Gods intended purposes.

After trying the methods in 2009 and proving that they work, training courses were held for all the Zambian partners at Maplehurst farm Kabwe to train people who would then become trainers in their own communities.

Many of the partners have now used these methods to successfully increase yields and spread the gospel to people in their communities. There are still getting to grips with the methods and principles, which shows us the need for continued follow up to the partners who are training their own communities.

Since these beginnings, it has became clear that many partners in Africa and other parts of the world could benefit from Foundations for Farming, if it was something that they themselves wanted. Many of our partners are in rural areas where subsistence farming in the main or only source of income.

Bright Hope World Agricultural Director John Vlaming has, since 2013, taken the course to other partners, and has now run training courses in Mozambique, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethopia, Tanzania, India and Myanmar. This also requires trips for follow up to help people continue to grow and learn.

"We would like to thank Bright Hope World for their initiative to bring to us this wonderful programme 'Foundations for Farming'. Since this programme started, hunger is no more the talk of the day. People have enough to feed thier families. The only people who are starving are those who are still planting cassava using our traditional method. For us who are using the new method we ar every happy because food is in abundance!"

Peter Bobo Chomba, Chaba Christian Care Group, Zambia.

Foundations for Farming

Watch a video on the history of Foundations for Farming

Watch a video on a community impacted by Foundations for Farming

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Bright Hope World is the operating name for Global Hope, a Charitable Trust registered in New Zealand with the Charities Commission (Charities Commission number CC36667)