Sunday, June 10, 2012

Farming God's Way at Amazima (http://amazimaministries.blogspot.com)

MAY 31, 2012

Farming God's Way

Earlier this year, Amazima had the opportunity to host a very unique training seminar at our land in Buziika called Farming God's Way

Although Uganda has seen much urbanization in the past few years, the majority of Ugandans are still subsistence farmers - working tirelessly to provide only what will feed their family. Uganda's two rainy seasons and plentiful sunshine should mean that these families can grow plenty of food to sustain them throughout the year.  Unfortunately, poor farming practices and a loss of motivation has left many fields in poor condition, and families are struggling to find enough to eat. Amazima's sponsorship and feedingprograms are doing a great deal to relieve the current crisis, but we are always working towards making a more lasting impact by empowering the people of Uganda to participate in changing their lives and their community.

Farming God's Way (FGW) is not an organization, but a resource to teach improved and sustainable farming methods to local farmers based on Biblical principles.



For three days, a certified trainer came to Buziika and instructed 12 local farmers in the methods taught by FGW. The largest component of the training is minimal or no tillage (turning/plowing the land). Like in America, farmers in Uganda typically completely turn over the soil before each planting season - the only difference being that they use a hand-powered hoe rather than a gas-powered plow! FGW leaves the soil unturned and only digs holes at precise intervals where the crops will be planted. The weeds and crop residue from the previous planting season are simply cut down to maintain a mulch cover on the field. This not only drastically improves water retention but over time also injects critical biological matter back into the soil. 

There are three pillars to the Farming God's Way methodology: 
          1.  Management
                    Do everything on time
                    Do everything to a high standard
                    Do everything with minimal wastage
          2.  Technology
                     No plowing
                    100% mulch covers (referred to as God's Blanket)
                    Practice crop rotation
          3.  Biblical 
                    Acknowledge God and God alone
                    Consider your ways
                    Understanding God's all-sufficiency
                    What you sow, you shall reap
                    Bring tithes and offerings to God
                    Stake your claim

The final day of training included the planting of a demonstration garden. A ten-by-ten meter plot was laid out prior to the seminar and all the participants were able to practice the skills they had been taught the previous two days. It was a great time of learning, both of new farming techniques and about the Gospel. Many of the students were not regular church attendees and one student was actually a practicing witch doctor!

An average Ugandan farmer produces 280 kg of maize (corn) per acre. Utilizing FGW techniques, that same farmer can produce 3,000 kg of maize per acre!

 

Our garden was planted next to a pathway leading to the next village so that as many people as possible can see the results and become interested in FGW.

Amazima staff member, Patrick Ouma, will be following up with the class participants to see how they are doing with the implementation of the training in their own fields.  

We sincerely hope and pray that the seeds that were planted - in our garden and in the students' hearts - will grow and flourish!

To learn more about the Farming God's Way resources, 
visit their website here.

Special thanks to our FGW trainer, Chris Sperling.  Without his heart for the farmers of Uganda and his mastery of the local language, the class would not have been able to take place!

Posted via email from The Sperling's blog

1 comment:

AlmaTlust said...

Hi, we are planning to start a Farming God's way ministry in Tanzania next year and would like to ask your permission to use your great blog picture. Would that be o.k.?

Many blessings,
Martin