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:
- 1,000 farmers were trained on sustainable farming techniques, and were provided tools and banana seedlings, cassava cuttings and a variety of vegetable seeds for consumption and sale.
- 12 community nurseries were established which producing 40,000 trees for timber, animal fodder, firewood and natural pesticides.
- 412 farmers were trained on breeding, composting and, preparation of natural insecticide.
- 45 new VSL groups for savings and credit were initiated.
- 68 existing VSL groups were mobilized and trained, comprised of 3,355 members (1,793 males and 1,562 females).
- 478 beneficiaries (312 females and 166 males), and 12 local official leaders were trained on techniques for fighting against epidemic of Ebola virus.
- 8,400 kg of rice, 4200 kg of beans, 630 litres of vegetable oil and 200 kg of salt was distributed to 100 households in the Kalunguta and Maboya villages.