fruit

Despite Danger, Staff & Participants Carry On

Even with the real and present danger of rebel groups storming the town of Gamboula and surrounding areas for many months, courageous program participants and the staff of local partner ACET have managed to find ways to carry on.
 
With the exception of the cattle program – the animals are a significant investment and are at high risk of being stolen – most other activities have made progress. The tree nursery, EDEN, raises and sells a variety of fruit and agroforestry trees, and also sells fruit from the mature trees for resale.   Training and monitoring on vegetable gardening, peanut farming, fish farming, and organizing co-ops and self-help groups have all seen good results as well.

Five new farmer co-ops with self-help and savings-and-loan components got off the ground this year and are working at getting their bylaws and government registrations taken care of.

Level-headed staff even found a work-around for processing palm nuts into oil for bottling and sale.  With people fleeing the area for stretches of time, it was hard to find laborers to do the work. Instead, staff is cutting the palm heads off the trees and selling them to women to process at home.  As Anick reports, “I’m able to take care of my four children thanks to the small garden work I have here at the ACET farm. I’ve even started a little business. I buy palm heads from ACET. Once I extract the oil, I sell a part of it so I have money to buy soap, salt, kerosene, and medicine and to cover my children’s needs. We use the other part for cooking, and sometimes my neighbors come to ask me for some for their families. The palm oil is rich, and less expensive than the peanut oil from Cameroon that is not available to the poor.”

Caption: Children block the view of sacks filled with a new farmer group’s first peanut harvest

CAR Gamboula Program
Led by Evangelical Covenant Church/Covenant World Relief and Local Partner ACET

10/09/2018 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Diversification: Drought Insurance

Lissett says her diversified vegetable garden makes her feel stronger and more able to cope with crises. “We had a drought two years ago that affected all of us a lot. It made us poorer, but it also made us more intentional about growing more foods besides corn and beans, and finding other ways to make money.”

Her family had had financial challenges when she was growing up, so she was glad to join the program and improve her agricultural skills as a way to generate additional income. She’s been putting into practice the soil conservation techniques she’s learned from local partner CIEETS, and has built a water reservoir for irrigating her plants. “The training we receive helps us understand better how plants, soil and water all work together as part of one system.”

The drought made her get serious about planting a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to reduce the likelihood that she would lose everything if it happens again. She is now growing various citrus and other fruits, quiquisque (a starchy corm similar to taro root), banana, guava, yuca (cassava), sweet pepper and papaya. She’s also raising chickens. As she puts it, “My diversified plot ensures that I’ll have food to feed my family, and even have some surplus to sell at the market.”

In addition to diversifying her crops, Lissett also manages a rain gauge to inform her and her community when there is sufficient moisture to plant crops.

“My community and I thank all the people who collaborate with us to improve our situation. Rest assured that we are taking advantage of these resources that come to us through CIEETS,” says Lissett.

Caption: Lissett with rain gauge and records

Nicaragua Mateare Carazo Program
Led by Church World Service and Local Partner CIEETS

 

06/04/2018 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Jackfruit in the Central African Republic

In the large and underdeveloped country of the Central African Republic, access to information is rare and that is why FRB's Central African Republic-Gamboula Program is trialing new varieties of staple crops, vegetables, beans, fruits in order to determine their suitability to local conditions. They introduce successful varieties to communities via farmer cooperatives and train farmers in sustainable farming techniques via farmer-to-farmer extension.

Thanks to the tropical climate and dense forests, a large focus of the Gamboula program is native fruit tree cultivation. This includes many exotic varieties of fruit not commonly seen in North America. On such fruit is called the jackfruit...

11/18/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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