The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is in sub-Saharan Africa. For decades, the country has suffered years of deadly conflicts with many pockets of insecurity, especially in and around the Tearfund’s project area of North Kivu. Key staple food and cash crops like cassava and bananas have been decimated by disease as well as soils being depleted. This has left more than 3/4 of the population surviving on just one meal a day. And many families, especially women-headed households, find it difficult to find anything nutritious to eat at all. Tearfund works with the Communauté Baptiste au Centre de l’Afrique (Congolese Baptist Church) to teach farmers local, appropriate and sustainable agriculture practices by establishing demonstration fields. Farmers work both on the communal demonstration fields, as well as their own garden plots to apply their learnings. Training includes disease/pest control, vegetable gardening, ways to improve soil fertility, planting techniques and crop rotation, green manure, mulching, and intercropping. Tearfund also provides farmers with improved seeds/seedlings/cuttings for crops such as cassava, banana, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, maize and potatoes.
In the last year:
- 600 farmers, 289 women and; 221 men were trained in a variety farming methods and given banana seedlings, cassava cuttings and a variety of vegetable seeds for consumption and sale; as they had been unaware they could grow vegetables in these highlands
- 300 farmers (households) received 2 kg of improved corn seed for multiplication.
- 393 farmers received 5 disease resistant banana seedling (a staple food and cash crop in DRC)
- 20 community nurseries were established which producing 40,000 trees for timber, animal fodder, firewood and natural pesticides.
- 4200 people benefitted from improved nutrition and higher incomes.