Blair Moses Kamanga is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries, serving as the agriculture coordinator for the Mozambique North Annual Conference. He is currently based in Chimoio, Mozambique.
Mr. Kamanga is highly skilled in agriculture, especially fieldwork concerning crop production, irrigation, animal production, monitoring, and evaluation of agricultural activities. He has diverse experience in training and teaching others, both formally and informally through demonstrations in the field. With a love of grassroot agriculture that started at an early age, he understands that food impacts everyone and conversations about food can lead to discussing the foundations of life. Poorly planned agriculture has a negative impact on whole communities and countries. Mr. Kamanga stresses this reality as he works with others to solve the root issues of agriculture challenges. He enjoys being a part of a larger agriculture initiative and learning from others.
In Mozambique, church agricultural projects are essential for generating income and for sharing with orphanages, clinics, and other church-related institutions to provide nutritious foods. Mr. Kamanga plays a vital role in coordinating and overseeing agriculture projects and programs and training local farmers to be self-reliant.
Born in Dowa District in the central region of Malawi, Mr. Kamanga lost his father in a road accident when he was about 6 years old. This prompted him to stay with his uncle, a dedicated member of the Dzaleka Assemblies of God Church in Dowa, Malawi. Mr. Kamanga was baptized at age 12. In his congregation, he served as a youth leader and advisor, a deacon, a food and agriculture coordinator, a lay preacher and an outreach service coordinator. “When I became a UMC missionary,” he said, “my family I decided to go back to our roots as dedicated members of The United Methodist Church.”
He continued, “My village is located close to a refugee camp. The activities at the camp made me to grow up in faith, knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Refugees used to come, mainly on Fridays, to beg for leftovers from the gardens (vegetables). Because of this, I requested a small piece of land just to produce vegetables and share with refugees.
“As time passed,” Mr. Kamanga said, “some of the refugees requested me for advice on how to produce vegetables and improve their agricultural production.” Witnessing great suffering, he and a classmate sought ways to empower people to help themselves. “I was providing extension services to local farmers and, at the same time, preaching,” he recalled. He was delighted to learn that Global Ministries “partners with agencies and individuals to alleviate human suffering; seek justice, freedom, and peace; strengthen congregations and communities; and make disciples of Jesus Christ.”
Since then, he has been involved with church activities, ranging from gospel conferences and evangelism, humanitarian activities and sustainable agriculture development. “Through the journey,” he said, “I have learned a lot of things, especially the problems our sisters and brothers are encountering because of wars, natural disasters, political injustice, and gender-based violence.” He hopes that as an international missionary, he will change lives and learn new skills as he associates with people of cultural backgrounds and beliefs unlike his own.
Born in Dowa, Malawi, Mr. Kamanga most recently lived in Lilongwe, Malawi. He earned a diploma in agriculture and natural resources management from the Natural Resources College of Malawi, 2009; a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture, University of Malawi, 2014; a postgraduate diploma in agrostudies (horticulture and irrigation), Ruppin Education Center, Israel, 2015; and a Master of Science degree in seed science and technology through Bogor Agriculture University, Indonesia.
Prior to his present assignment, Mr. Kamanga was a research associate at Bogor Agricultural University (January 2018-October 2019); a crops development officer, Ministry of Agriculture (January-June 2016); and a community outreach coordinator, Tikondwe Freedom Gardens (June 2009-October 2015).