Working Together Against Hunger

Hunger is an enormous problem in Zambia. Every year thousands of people live on one or two meals a day for weeks or even months.

For many this is normal; for many it is expected. But the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is finding ways to help rural farmers not only grow enough to feed their family but also have some left over to sell.

Joseph Phiri can attest to that. The field that once grew hardly enough food to feed his family now flourishes with corn, soybeans, and cotton. It’s almost three years since Phiri was trained in gumpany, a farming technique aimed at maximizing the use of rainwater during times of drought.

The technique uses small trenches or “basins” and manure as an absorbent to hold the little rain that falls on Zambian fields each year. Seedlings are planted directly into the basins after the first rainfall and grow to maturity in the nutrient-rich and moist manure.

The training enabled Phiri to transform plots of land into food and cash. Not only did he harvest enough corn to feed his family for an entire year, but his cotton field yielded a big cash crop as well.

It didn’t take long for news of Phiri’s success to spread, and he was quickly chosen by his community to get more training, which he has since passed on to other farmers.

Hunger is very real in Africa, but solutions are too. CRWRC is working with people like Joseph Phiri to put an end to hunger.

About the Author

Tim and Andrea Bootsma are CRWRC program consultants in Zambia.

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