Years of severe droughts and erratic rainfall in Tanzania left Amos Kusenha, a father of six, worrying for their livelihood and future. Completely dependent on rain-fed agriculture meant that their food security and income was at the mercy of the rain – becoming more unpredictable and increasingly scarce. Only using traditional and unsustainable farming methods, Amos’ soil had been depleted by erosion and degradation. Growing any successful crop became a memory of the past.
Desperate for a solution, Amos decided to test out his church’s Conservation Agriculture techniques on a portion of his farm.
As a leader of the local church, Amos knew of one of the most promising poverty alleviation strategies active in his country, the Church-Based Community Transformation (CCT) program, that had partnered with his church to improve food security in communities like his that suffered from years of continuous crop failure.
Through the Conservation Agriculture program, church pastors, often farmers themselves, receive training on new farming techniques to both use at home and share with their congregation. Done correctly, this should double the crop yields of small farms, without the use of expensive fertilizers! Rooted in the Biblical view of caring for the poor and creation as a whole, the church facilitates Conservation Agriculture training to alleviate poverty at a local livelihood level.
Resolute and unswerving, Amos believed that God would bless his harvest to provide for his family.
After a week of training, Amos was eager to put his new knowledge to work. His family set aside a test plot of 20 x 20m to grow millet and cowpeas. Replenishing the soil with organic matter, months of dryness did not hinder the growth of his crops. Despite minimal rains, his field grew green and healthy, and rewarded him with a much higher yield than one entire acre would yield using traditional techniques. Impressed with these results, Amos plans to expand the area under Conservation Agriculture to a whole acre.
Amos is very encouraged by the performance of his crops despite the dry weather. He shared his findings with his congregation and invited them to his farm to see the promising results. Amos has since trained 15 farmers who plan to use Conservation Agriculture on their own fields next season!
The Church, showing God’s love in action, can bring life and lasting change to people living in desperate need. Addressing not only physical but spiritual poverty, the church is working to transform communities around all needs. We praise God for Amos’ willingness to learn and teach Conservation Agriculture to his congregation and community!