A Zimbabwean green revolution
Farming God’s Way
With assistance from United Church Canada and Canadian Foodgrains Bank, farmers in the Nkayi District of Zimbabwe have been implementing a farming system known as “Farming God’s Way.”
What makes this farming system deserve such a title? Have all the other farming methods come short of God’s standard?
This revolutionary method of agriculture sweeping across southern Africa does not intend to become the ultimate authority on how to farm. Rather, the objective is to put some faith back into farming by helping Africans on small farms make simple observations of God’s untouched creation and apply them to maize production.
During training courses, farmers take note that the land surrounding their cultivated maize fields is covered with a permanent mulch that protects the soil from erosion and moisture loss. Farmers then learn how the mulch (God’s blanket) can be used to improve their maize production using a modified system of zero tillage. The fact that there is a spiritual dimension connected to the livelihood of farming increases the credibility of this farming system.
Mrs. Ncube (pictured above) received training and a small packet of open pollinated maize seeds which produced over three times the yield of the field where she used traditional farming methods.
Her success is linked to her willingness to follow the four simple principles that define Farming God’s Way – on time, at standard, without wastage, and with joy. She prepared her land and planted her crop on time to maximize the benefit of the early rains. She did everything according to a specified standard which included a weed-clean field and correct plant density. Given the scarcity of manure, Mrs. Ncube was very careful not to waste any of this precious plant food. She carefully placed two handfuls of manure in the planting stations before seeding her crop. Mrs. Ncube’s radiant smile is proof that she did all this with joy.
For more information on Farming God’s Way, see the founder’s website at www.farming-gods-way.org.
This article appeared at www.foodgrainsbank.ca in December 2008. Used with permission.