Farming God’s way in Mozambique
A church leader in western Mozambique has an idea that will help his rural town blossom both financially and spiritually
What would you do with four cows, a plough and a cart? Inacio Jone will be using them to change the lives of his neighbours in Sussundenga, in Mozambique’s western Manica province. With support from BMS World Mission and project management training led by BMS mission worker Fiona Welsh and International Mission Worker Carlos Tique, Inacio will run a small rental business that will provide him with income and help the rural town of Sussundenga to thrive.
Inacio had a vision for his community and his church. He wanted to improve the lives of those around him. But his position as a church leader is not a paid one. So he found a way to make the money he needs while teaching others about God and conservation farming. “When Carlos and I did the baseline survey in the surrounding community it was clear that everyone was producing about the same amount of produce, but often it isn’t enough to feed their families,” says Fiona.
Inacio reached out to Fiona and Carlos and joined the project management course they were running in Chimoio, a town less than an hour north of Sussundenga. There he learned the skills he would need to run what is now called the Manica Cattle project. Once he graduated, Inacio received a grant to purchase the cows, employ a stockman and provide the materials and labour for a corral to be built.
The cows – two females, a male and calf that was born a month after they were purchased – are being trained to pull the plough, and soon they will be ready for work. Once all of the schooling is done, Inacio will be able to rent out the cows and plough to the local farmers for a small fee.
Along with teaching his neighbours how to use the cattle for farming, Inacio will be showing them different agricultural techniques that will help them to produce bigger harvests. Traditionally, the land is burned to clear away the remaining grass, then seeds are scattered in the ashes and covered with cut foliage. But this method has not been very fruitful for the farmers in Sussundenga. With the help of the cattle and plough they will be able to spread the seeds evenly and deeper in soil. Instead of burning the grass it will be cut and spread over the seeds to provide an additional source of nutrients and some protection from the elements.
Through this project Inacio will have the opportunity to demonstrate conservation agriculture and share what the Bible says about the land and the gospel. Carlos, Fiona and Inacio all hope that this project, will produce a big enough harvest that will allow the farmers to sell the extra and increase their income.
Please keep Inacio and the Manica Cattle Project in your prayers as they flourish and improve the lives of those in the community.
If you and your church would like to explore more about creation care, order the FutureShape? DVD today.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission
BMS World Mission, 15/01/2015