Esther and Nelson Nghumbi have been practicing conservation agriculture for three years after Esther was recruited by an animator in their community named Richard [photo: far left, wearing a red shirt].
Esther and Nelson live in the dry central area of Tanzania in the village of Nzasa, north of the capital city of Dodoma. The family has five children, two of whom are still in school.
Esther was keen to learn new farming techniques to help her crops thrive in the dry and drought-prone area. She received training in conservation agriculture from the Tearfund Canada’s partner DSC, the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Central Tanganyika (DCT). In 2015, Richard and other DSC staff taught Esther how to dig pits with the right size and spacing, how to use manure and ash in the holes for soil fertility and termite repellent, how to plant depth for various seeds, and when to weed.
Last year Esther and Nelson grew sorghum and experienced an excellent harvest, with their small plot yielding three hundred kilograms! The DSC also reintroduced a legume called lablab purpureus (common names include the hyacinth bean, lablab-bean, dolichos bean). Esther and Nelson liked the taste of the lablab and plan to grow it again. The DSC is also preparing to offer cooking demonstrations to help familiarize farmers with the ‘lost crop’ of the lablab bean.
Now, Esther and Nelson are growing pearl millet and cowpeas. Their crop is incredibly healthy compared to traditionally farmed fields, which are very stunted and wilted due to four weeks of dry weather. They are thankful to donors like you for helping transform their lives!