Africa is home to over 30 percent of the world’s natural resources, but the continent produces only three percent of the world’s gross domestic product. There’s a disconnect. Something is wrong.
Despite ideal farming conditions, Africa’s crop yields are low and families are suffering. By all accounts, communities in Burundi and other parts of Africa should be overflowing with nutritious food. Families should be collecting a vibrant harvest with enough to fill their own bellies and still have plenty to sell at market. They have all the resources, but instead of seeing people thrive, there is despair and extreme hunger, both physical and spiritual.
Sometimes it’s easy to think that we rule the world, that we created the systems that govern it. As a believer and a Christ-follower, I know better. I know that God’s perfect design applies to every area of life, farming included. God’s genius is not complicated, and He has provided us with everything we need to succeed. We’re without excuse. We simply need faithful stewardship of the land.
Since 80 percent of people living in Africa are farmers, by working to promote a biblical perspective on farming that connects the Christian faith with the most common vocation on the continent, we have the opportunity to make an impactful and lasting difference.
Food for the Hungry currently teaches the principals of Foundations in Farming in several of our African communities, and we have seen divine results. Based on the proven techniques of conservation agriculture, this program uses scientifically sound agricultural techniques combined with strong biblical teaching to radically transform farming practices and bring hope to farmers.
Brian Oldreieve, founder of Foundations for Farming, first developed this curriculum and we’ve had the pleasure of sending our own Anthony Koomson, Director of Food Security and Livelihood at Food for the Hungry, to learn from Oldreieve himself.
The idea that education is the key to the eradication of poverty isn’t a new notion. It’s not prophetic or groundbreaking in any way. In fact, it’s quite simple.
When we faithfully apply these principals, the yields have been up to 10 times more than with traditional farming practices. These practices are not revolutionary. They are the basis and the beginning of a deeper theological ideology around the faithfulness of God’s people. This core principal is what makes Food for the Hungry’s implementation of Foundations for Farming self- sustainable, long-lasting and holistic.
Successful farming is an entry point to determining other areas that might need God’s influence. One of the other issues we often tackle, in conjunction with improved agriculture practices, is working with poverty-stricken communities to show them that God’s plan includes dividing work equally between husband and wife. Traditionally, African men leave all of the farming and household chores to women. When spouses join together in the labor, there is mutual respect, and both can celebrate together in the successes of the crops. Marriages are strengthened and couples’ thoughts on wealth evolve. We start with hope, which breeds joy, a stronger work ethic, openness to new methods and eventually a higher yield. It’s a natural law and a biblical principal that those who are faithful with what they have, gain more.
You can help more farmers learn to farm God’s way with your generous donation right now.