Friday, August 19, 2016

Drought? What Drought?

Lately much of Uganda and even much of Africa has experienced drought in the last growing season. In fact, the food security problem in Africa is so bad that the FAO's current list of " 37 Country's in need of external food assistance", 30 of the 37 countries are in Africa.  This inclement weather has left many farmers with withered crops and empty store rooms. Of course empty store rooms means hard times ahead; famine. This is going to be a rough season for many people in the coming months with very little from their fields to feed them.  Of course, this will also mean appeals for aid and food handouts to sustain these farmers until the next crops come in. Here we go again… the begging bowl of Africa back on the TV screens and now Facebook posts pleading for help. But it doesn’t need to be like this! In fact for our Farming God's Way farmers across the continent it isn't like this.

Throughout Uganda farmers were hit with a late onset of rains, (our rains normally come with the Equinox around mid march but  came this year around April 1st) which meant late planting and then very heavy rains in the middle of the season and then the rains stopped as the crops were maturing. This spells bad news for the average farmers but our farmers are not average farmers! They are average people with the average tools (hoes and machetes) who are farming God's way! Farming God's Way teaches farmers to mulch as heavily as possibly on as much of their land as possible. This means when it is raining heavily their land absorbs the rain deep into the soil profile. Then, when the sun starts to shine the mulch protects the moisture from evaporation and keeps the soil and plant roots nice and cool; perfect conditions for growth! The result is great crops despite weeks of drought. This means food on the table and food in the store rooms. It also means Africans shouting God's goodness and not begging for more hand-outs! Which one do you like to hear about?
On the left is a conventional plot and on the right a Farming God's Way plot; same sun, same rainfall from this last "drought" season -- one looks like a drought stricken garden and one looks like a well watered garden. The difference is faithfulness with the talents God has given us here on the African Continent. photo credit to Vocare Ministries

We're working hard to see that we have more givers than beggars; it's slow but exciting work!
Above are a  few of the farmers that I train in Wante in their gardens earlier in this drought-stricken season. Drought? What Drought?

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