Yambasu Agriculture Initiative
The Yambasu Agriculture Initiative (YAI) was launched by Global Ministries in 2020 in honor of Bishop John K. Yambasu of Sierra Leone, who lost his life in a car accident that year. The program works toward the realization of a vision shared by the late bishop that the African church and its communities can be self-sustaining if its resources are optimized through agriculture. Using grants and training, YAI mobilizes existing land and human resources within the church; improves community livelihoods and food security long-term; and builds capacity in annual conferences toward financial solvency.
The initiative supports episcopal areas in developing new agricultural projects:
- expanded growth of crops such as maize, cassava and rice;
- cultivating seed projects to expand future crop output;
- honey and secondary product sales;
- and poultry, rabbit and piggery projects, among others.
The initiative utilizes United Methodist land holdings for crops and animal raising and also works with area farmers to aid agriculture production. Additional outcomes include improved household livelihoods and food security through training opportunities, direct participation in the program, seed banks and tools. The growth of church membership is also expected, given opportunities for evangelism through community trainings.
EXAMPLES OF PROJECTS
Central conference participants:
- Sierra Leone
- Côte d’Ivoire (including Cameroon and Senegal)
- Democratic Republic of Congo (South, Central, North Katanga and East episcopal areas)
- Angola (East and West episcopal areas)
- Zimbabwe (East and West conferences)
- Mozambique (South and North conferences)
- Nigeria (Central and Northeast conferences)
Since 2020, the Yambasu Agriculture Initiative has awarded 22 grants to 19 United Methodist annual conferences as they develop self-sustaining agriculture ministries.
Four farms in Zimbabwe saw bumper harvests after receiving support from Global Ministries’ Yambasu Agriculture Initiative.
Reinvestment, a key component and goal in Yambasu Agriculture Initiative projects, is yielding fruits leading to growth and expansion across Africa.