REVELATION TO FEED THE NATIONS
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REVELATION TO FEED THE NATIONS Contents 01. The Problem The Solution 02. What is Foundations for Farming 04. The model - Sustainable Agriculture 05. Implementation Management â€“ Putting The Model Into Practice 06. On Time 07. To Standard Minimum Wastage With Joy 08. Case Study
Operation Joseph 13. Adoption By Other Agencies Today
12. The Story So Far
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The problem – poverty in Africa We define poverty as limited choices, spiritually and economically. Spiritual poverty is limited knowledge of God and his son Jesus Christ, and economic poverty is limited ability to meet basic needs. We are not growing enough food to feed ourselves in Africa. World grain production has increased over the years, Africa’s has stagnated Tonnes/Hectare
USA 5.5 9.0
ASIA 2.0 4.0
AFRICA 1.0 1.0
Current national yield in Zimbabwe is 0.3tonnes/ha. Man’s solutions – mostly in the form of Aid - have failed because they start on the premise that man is essentially good and given enough resources, knowledge and opportunity he can work his way out of the poverty trap.
The solution Foundations for Far ming (FfF) starts from a different premise - God says that man is not essentially good – all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Any solution must start with the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 –Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding and He will make your paths straight. Foundations for Farming is an apostolic initiative for the preaching of the gospel, the strengthening of the church, and the extending of the kingdom of God. FfF uses sustainable agriculture as a model to transform the lives of individuals, communities and nations.
Committed young men and women who have a heart for the poor are taking the call to evangelise communities through Foundations for Farming.
What is Foundations for Farming
What is Foundations for Farming
It is an apostolic initiative THE AIM is to mobilise and equip the church for works of service for the building up of the body, using gifts of men that God has given the church. It is essentially a churches-to-churches initiative that builds up the body and extends the kingdom of God. THE OBJECTIVE is to take the church into the mission field, providing breakthrough power for the extension of the kingdom through the preaching of the gospel and signs and wonders. THE MESSAGE is a call to repentance and wholehearted, undivided devotion to Christ.
For the preaching of the gospel FfF is about building a platform for evangelism, discipleship and church planting. Real change starts in the heart - no progress can occur in peopleâ€™s lives outside of true repentance. The church carries the mandate to bring the good news that leads to repentance, and FfF offers a vehicle for those carrying the good news.
Using sustainable agriculture as a model FfF is not so much about farming, as it is about life in Christ using farming as a practical expression of this. FfF teaches stewardship and the management principles for the breaking of the cycle of poverty.
Key messages: • Faithful stewardship - God has given us every thing we need for life and godliness. (1 Peter 1:3). We must be faithful with the first things God has given us – soil, water, heat, sunlight, manpower. • Giving to receive - We do not take from the land without giving back to it – giving time and effort, and putting back nutrients in the land.
For the transformation of individuals, communities & nations True transformation is a creative work of God by His word and His Spirit. This internal transformation leads to the external transformation of individuals, communities and nations.
04 The model - Sustainable agriculture
We not only want to look after the land, but to improve on the soils for the next generation.
FfF starts with how God grows plants in nature. a. Godly wisdom for caring for the soil – In God’s creation there is no deep level inversion of the soil, and the earth is covered with a natural mulch layer of fallen leaves and dying grass. Minimum tillage allows the soil structure to retain its natural form, and in its natural structure soil has the highest properties of oxygen, micro-organisms, humus and other indicators of fertility. b. Godly wisdom for caring for crops – Seeds are planted and fertilised with precision & accuracy. Crop fundamentals of timely and appropriate land preparation, planting season dates, crop stand and crop records are adhered to with diligence. Weeding is carried out conscientiously at critical times of the year, preventing the stripping of soil fertility, and competition for soil space, nutrients, moisture sunlight etc.
Yield can go up substantially, with each maize stalk bearing up to 5 cobs
Following its inception on Hinton Estate 28 years ago, FfF has been adopted by numerous other organisations in Southern Africa (most of who call it Conservation Agriculture). In a study in Zimbabwe, ICRISAT (www.icrisat.org) listed the benefits of FGW as: • It stabilises soil erosion • Improves soil structure and fertility • Improves water use efficiency and fertiliser use efficiency • Helps to overcome shortages of draught animal power • Increases the yields for smallholder farmers (by between 10% and 1000%) • Results in improved profitability from farming (new farmers achieve GP margins that Are 6 times higher than standard farming, experienced farmers achieve more than this).
05 Implementation management – putting the model into practice Breaking the poverty cycle
Sustainable agriculture is not the final goal; we need profitable agriculture that is sustainable. Unless poor people engage with the discipline necessary to produce profitably, they will always be poor. To make a profit sound implementation management is vital. The church is the instrument for the full demonstration of God’s kingdom on earth. Despite God’s promise of abundant life, the church in Africa is generally failing to express God’s kingdom on earth. Although nearly 70% in Africa call themselves Christian, there is such poverty, hunger and disease among them. This cannot be God’s will for His people.
The primary focus in our teaching of implementation management is to teach the church how to apply God’s truth to life, leading to abundant life in Christ.
IMPLEMENTATION MANAGEMENT TEACHING FOCUSES ON FOUR THINGS:
WITH JOY TO STANDARD
WITH MINIMUM WASTAGE
1. On time
God has given us time and has measured it for us. In Southern Africa planting must be done by the 25th of November. Every day that we plant later than that date we lose 120kg of potential yield. Thus potential yield of 14t/ha on 25 Nov. falls to 10.4t/ha by the 25th of Dec., to 3.2t/ha if we plan in Feb, and total crop failure if we plant in March
Time keeping is a serious problem in Africa. Some suggest a contributory cause to be the fear oriented religions most people follow. Fear militates against faith and hope in the future, stimulating the survival and self-preservation instincts that result in much selfishness. In discussions on time, the average person in Africa will shrug and say this is just our way. But if our way is leading to such poverty and desolation then we need a radically changed view of time and time management (Romans 12:2). The only answer is the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ which delivers us from the spirit of fear.
Planning our time is the starting point of being faithful with the time God has given us. • Begin by praying and asking God for help and wisdom, and then faith to put into action the wisdom He gives us to make an effective plan. • Assess what assets we have: o How much land do we have available to crop o What resources do we have – soil, labour, skills, inputs, storage capacity, etc • How much work per day can we realistically achieve • Make a work schedule, working backwards from the estimated first effective planting rains. Allow for rest periods and other downtime. • Prepare tools and equipment well in advance. • Pray constantly. Pray for help, wisdom, joy, strength, perseverance, love, unity and the ability to teach others and share FGW with others. Also remember to give thanks.
2. To standard Right across the continent of Africa, and at every level we need to lift our standards. God does not like lukewarmness (Rev 3: 15-16), but loves wholeheartedness - 1 Cor 10:31 whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. This is the key to high standards. To get out of poverty we must be faithful with what God has given us. If we take our minds, our bodies and our strength that God gives us and give the effort to do things really well (to standard), it is a form of giving that God sees. We must give to receive. One of the yokes of oppression we suffer under in Africa is the dependency syndrome. While we appreciate all the aid we have received, when it is not given wisely it can prevent people from being faithful with the little they have. It is better for people to start with what God has already given them and be faithful with that, God will add to them.
3. Minimum wastage Waste is a form of unfaithfulness - it is very dangerous to be wasteful because what we do not use we lose. One of the things we waste in Africa are opportunities, mainly through poor time management. We can also waste our reputation and integrity â€“ sometimes in African culture telling people what they want to hear is considered as a social necessity and politeness. Sadly this opens the door to dishonesty, which plays a big part in the big corruption problem we face. Corruption is one of the greatest forms of waste in Africa.
In the parable of the talents we are taught that which we do not use we lose. We must be faithful with all that God has given us (our minds, our bodies, our assets etc). His gift of time must be taken seriously and not wasted. We must also be good stewards of His garden â€“ nothing that he has given us in nature should be wasted.
4. With joy The joy of the Lord is our strength. This is our work ethic.
All the steps in the process must be done with precision and to a high standard. Over time we have seen that when people take only a few aspects of it and maintain their own way in the rest, it doesnâ€™t work. Paying attention to detail is very important; success comes from being faithful and plugging away at all the little things and doing them well.
Case study How we started: Four months ago we came out here with such expectations for both the farming side as well as for the ministry side. It hasn’t been all fun and games I have to admit, yet I never want to do anything else in my life ever again. We started hoeing immediately. It is 3htr (30 000m²) they gave us, all untilled and fallow ground that was left like that for 12 years. We did our bottle-top spacing and planting of maize on the 12th of December (far too late in the season) on our first 100m². That took us two weeks to do, but God said it and we did it. Then we saw that cows were a huge problem and we had to start fencing ASAP. What a frustration and shocker! I tend to feel quite aggressive towards cows now. They ate some of the little green maize twice in one season! We used a bush knife to cut poles from the forest; and made a sort of cattle brier fence around the field. Needless to say, I was knackered. My body close to shutdown. We cried to God for a chain saw and finances for barbed wire. He provided a chain saw a month later, we cut and planted poles in faith and then finances came in for barbed wire to fence 6200m² In the meantime we had no truck to load and off load tools, God’s blanket, LAN, manure etc. We used our beautiful sedans to do the job. God saw our faithfulness in pursuing His work with what we had and then one day…wow, someone offered me to swap my Opel Astra for his old truck that was in good running condition. Yes that was it, a plain swap and no money exchange.
This was mid December 2008 4 months latter!!!! Mid April 2009 In 4 months God did incredible things. Not only in His fields, but in our hearts as well. WOW!
Our faithfulness doing whatever we had to do, to the best of our ability & all for Him & His glory.
His faithfulness, supplying all our needs as He promised. ‘We will not lack any beneficial thing.’
Ingubo kaNkulunkhulu ‘God’s blanket’
And His reward in progress.
This is but 6200m2, done of 30 000m2. This is ‘Eating the elephant’ with a hoe and faith. By the way our hoes have names. They’re called Hoe & Zanna.
This was planted on the 6th of March. Look at the size of the spinach leaves!
They put enough nitrogen back into the soil, so that you could plant maize for 3 consecutive years on their supply. Amazing isn’t it! IT’S ALL ABOUT NEXT SEASONS MAIZE CROP!
We heard of a local farmer who produces good quality seedlings at very good prices, and we bought 200 cabbages and 200 spinach seedlings. We hoed and made the holes for all in one day, and planted them that same day! I was finished for days. After all of this we realised that we needed water? A few days before all this when one of our helpers dug holes for more poles along the fence he nearly hit and old water pipe, we remembered this and sourced its origin, tested it and whalla! We had water and a cistern to hold it in, Awesome. Our aim is to do all of this for widows and orphans, but we did not know how God would like us to do this. Many people gave advice, insight and sometimes seeing the terrible needs out there made us loose our vision as we tried to reach out in our own humanism and insight. After terrible emotional burnout within a week of trying to reach out to the community, we realised that God will tell us in His time and in His way where, when and how we will have to go about it. The local people do not believe in our way of farming, yet they are quite inquisitive. Now that they have seen the results, they want the product, but still seem apprehensive about farming Gods way. So what is drawing the locals? The 100m² of maize we planted late, bore much fruit, most of them have one cob, but some have four and there is even one with 5, yes FIVE cobs! The spinach is so big, they are four hand breadths wide and two and a bit of my feet long! I have great expectations for the onions and the cabbage if things are going at this rate. Well, the time has come where the Lord is reaching out to the community and where He has chosen 5 widows who look after children to come in and cooperate with us Farming Gods Way. Now we can start to relay the life changing lessons we have learned through farming Gods way.
The story so far 1. 1980 - Hinton Estate
FfF principles were first used on Hinton Estate in Zimbabwe 28 years ago. Over that time Hinton Estate became a member of the Elite 10 tonne club, and won prices at the annual agricultural show year on year
2. Zambia 2003 After introducing the farming model in Zambia, Brian went back a few years later and was told that in 2000/1, 25,000 small-scale farmers were practicing it, then in 2001/2 there were 50,000 and in 2002/3 there were 100,000 - a doubling of numbers each year. Subsequently it was reported that Zambia exported 400 000 tonnes of maize for the first time.
Operation Joseph 2004 An initial program running FfF with 9,000 farmers under Operation Joseph in Zimbabwe resulted in 3,500 tonnes of maize being traded by subsistence farmers (formerly on food aid themselves) to the Zimbabwe Grain Marketing Board.
3. Adoption by other agencies - 2005 The farming element of the program has been adopted by DFID as part of its £35m funding programme, currently being delivered in Zimbabwe by 24 partners (see www.dfid.gov.uk and www.prpzim.info )
Organisations delivering the program are : • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Action Contre la Faim (ACF) Action Aid International in Zimbabwe (AAI-Z) Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) Care international in Zimbabwe Christian Aid Concern Worldwide Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Dabane Trust Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Farm Community Trust Zimbabwe (FCTZ) Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) Help Age Zimbabwe World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) International Crop Research Institute for semi-arid tropics (ICRISAT) International organisation for migration (IOM) Khula Sizwe Trust Mercy Corps - Joint Initiative Pump Aid Save the Children (UK) Terre Des Hommes Italia Tear Fund Environment Africa – Tree Africa World Vision Zimbabwe Community Development Trust (ZCDT)
4. Today FfF is now being practiced by different churches in 7 different countries in Southern Africa. Country reports are available on www.farming-gods-way.org