As I write this report, a second solar irrigation system is being purchased for the Communal Farm in Zambia, paid for by your generous donations to our July GlobalGiving campaign.
The second pump will make it possible to grow soybeans, groundnuts and corn, the all-important staple crops for both personal consumption and sale, even when Mother Nature does not provide the necessary water. Because of severe drought, the first plantings of these crops early in 2022 did not yield well, either in quantity or quality. With the progression of global climate change, it is likely that drought will be more and more prevalent in the coming years. This is why our priority is the installation of the second system, which will irrigate the parcel of the land dedicated to the staple crops. Next year’s yields should be much better.
Meanwhile, vegetables are flourishing on the parcel served by the original pump. One hundred heads of cabbage and two large fields of “spinach" (what we call chard) will add welcome freshness to our community’s diet, as well as some sorely needed income.
Funds from our previous GlobalGiving campaign are being used to build an enclosure and a large shed for housing goats. Once complete, the first goats can be purchased, and the goat rearing can begin! Besides being a crop that can be sold for profit, the goats will also keep the bush under control (the speed at which the African bush reclaims cleared land is truly amazing!) and provide valuable fertilizer for the vegetable crops.
With diligence and hard work, the farm should eventually become self-sustaining. Our farmers are determined to feed their families by growing their own food, and every gift that you give will help them reach their goal.