Addressing hunger and poverty with sustainable agriculture and leadership training
Describe the need affecting community
We are working with the Lunda people of extreme North West Zambia. They have the highest infant mortality rates and lowest life expectancy of all tribes in Zambia. The greatest need is to improve protein, vitamin and mineral content in the local diet and help families to increase incomes so they can provide for schooling, medical care, clothing, additional foods, etc.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
We are continuing to expand egg and milk production. We hope to have electricity soon, which will help with refrigeration, processing, and packaging of our products for better storage and longer shelf life. We have encouraged and are planting our own soybeans. Together with corn, we can produce concentrates that will permit hogs to grow from day old to over 100 kg in only 5.5 months. Getting farmers to use better genetics, vaccinations, and balanced feeds will greatly increase animal production in the area. Animal manure is essential to higher yields of feed and food crops in the area. We do demonstration plots to show the efficacy of using animal manures efficiently to increase the productivity of fields.
Describe the primary goal of the project
The original goals and objectives of the project were to increase protein, minerals and vitamins in the diet to reduce the very high infant mortality and low life expectancy of the Lunda People. It was also to help the Lunda People to increase family incomes by becoming more effective and efficient farmers. Our long-term impact is to help to make the Lunda farmers and their families competitive in agricultural pursuits that are favored by the high rainfall and abundant land that is available here. These include milk production, fruit production, meat production, gardening, field crop production, etc.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
The goal is to help farm families to increase their farm incomes and become less dependent upon scavenging for rats and mice for their survival. We hope to have them join the national economy and become full participants in their national livelihood. They have been ignored for too long and have suffered too much from the neglect. Increased education requires that they can provide school fees, clothing, and books. We are seeing more solar panels and cell phones in surrounding villages, we are seeing more motorcycles and even a few automobiles. We are soon to have grid electrical power. All of these will require that people have sustainable incomes from the proper use of the land. This is what I would like to see.