Training in Sustainable Agriculture
Africa has an estimated 60 million farming families suffering from malnutrition. These small-scale farmers could be the solution to the world’s food problem. We want to bring about change with a joint initiative.
The African farmer’s poverty spiral is related to his land’s low yields. Traditional ploughing of the land before sowing disrupts soil life and moisture management. The earth becomes as hard as rock in the dry season, and in the rainy season, the fertile top layer washes away; little moisture is retained on the field itself. A costly investment in fertilizer tries to undo these effects. This may lead to good results in the short term, but the long term are soil depletion and often debt.
Breaking the Spiral of Poverty
We offer agricultural training in collaboration with Foundations for Farming (FFF). The training begins with good handling of the soil, not ploughing the land but instead, covering it and building up a layer of humus; a foundation is created for better harvests.
Did you know…
Farmers often have very low crop yields, no access to facilities, and therefore, no future prospects. But…is there another way?
Can the spiral of poverty be broken by training in sustainable agriculture?
Are the principles of sustainable agriculture based on Biblical principles?
How Does It Work?
Foundations for Farming teaches the Pfumfudza (‘new season’) model. A family of six can achieve food security by planting 52 rows of crops, on a plot of only 624 m2. Each row yields a bucket of corn. When a harvest is successful, the same method can be applied on a larger scale.
Tree of Life encourages the planting 55 row: 1 row for the trainer, 1 row for the poor and 1 row for Tree of Life. Once again, there is a Biblical principle here: multiplication by division.
The Four Pillars
On time: the land must be ready on time for the rains. Training is given on how to plan and prepare on time so that seeds are sown on time. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (New Living Translation): “There is a time for everything: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest.”
With quality: we give God glory by doing our work at a high standard. Order and structure in the fields is important, which is why FFF works with good plant and row spacing. Proper preparation of the planting holes is essential.
Without waste: careful handling of scarce natural resources is a fundamental condition for success. The training teaches farmers to avoid waste. There should be no wastage of time, soil, water, sunlight, seeds and energy.
With pleasure: teaching an attitude of enthusiasm and gratitude. Farming is an honorable and important profession. Working with pleasure honors God and also ensures a better yield.
The training is offered in various countries on demonstration farms that function as training centers. We use existing school facilities or set up new facilities, such as in Cameroon and Malawi. In order to reach as many farmers as possible, we mainly focus on the training of trainers. They are starting up local demonstration gardens in the surrounding villages.
Faith, family & finance
As soon as a farmer achieves a better yield, good management of finances is essential. Reinvesting, saving and budgeting are indispensable skills. In Africa, 80% of the work on the land is done by women; men are often absent from work and family. Restoration and reconciliation in families is a valuable addition to the trainings.
All training is based on God’s Word, the Bible. We want to help families build towards a self-sufficient life on the basis of these healthy foundations.
What does Tree of Life do to enable training in sustainable agriculture?
- We work together with Foundations for Farming to provide good and effective training; to provide good and effective training;
- We facilitate the process towards a self-sufficient existence through these agricultural training courses;
- We contribute to the development of the locals by offering training courses in: financial management, family relationships, faith in Jesus Christ.
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