Above: a farmhand harvests fields full of onions by hand. These onions were hand-planted in March.
Even in the midst of the worst drought Zambia has seen in over 40 years, the African Vision of Hope Conservation Farm is producing bountifully. Mwala, the Farm Manager, reported on the Farm’s September harvests.
3 tons: that is how many onions were harvested and packaged to take to the market to sell. That is more than 300 bags! To the left are photos of the onions being gathered and bagged. Now that the onions are finished, cabbage will be planted in its place.
The Farm also raises broiler or “roaster” chickens. This month they sold 500 chickens and used some of their profits to purchase 300 eggs. These eggs will be incubated and raised into full-grown chickens, and the cycle will continue. Another feature of the Conservation Farm is the hammer mill, where local farmers can bring their corn to be ground into Zambia’s staple food, “nshima”. This is the only output of the farm that is seeing decreased numbers, and this is due to the drought. No one has corn to grind because harvests were so bad this year.
Mwala is using conservation techniques such as reservoirs and trenches to ensure that the Farm will survive through the tough months to come. The Farm not only sells food at local markets, but it also uses profits to send local children to school and also contributes food to the African Vision of Hope school lunch program. By supporting African Vison of Hope, you are supporting sustainable agriculture and combating starvation!
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