Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa)
Church of Christ of the Congo - Democratic Republic of Congo
Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo
Department of Women
CDCC Food and Nutrition Project
The Ikengo Agricultural Center was established by the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC), which has related to Global Ministries for over 100 years, in order to make the best possible use of available farmland. For several years Ikengo provided livestock (hog, duck, and chicken-raising) and crop growing activities (truck gardening activities and food crop activities). Ikengo has however faced many challenges, primarily its location which is approximately 10 miles over rough road to the nearest town. Because of the road conditions, large trucks needed to transport items from the farm were unable to be utilized. The farm is accessible by water which is only two miles away; however, the program participants, mostly women, had to walk the two miles carrying the produce on their heads, limiting the amount of produce that could be sold. Further complications arose when the agronomist hired by the CDCC to run the program left for a new job and his replacement was unable to keep up the farm activities. It was, therefore, decided to abandon the Ikengo Farm Project.
The Department of Women of the Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo decided to take on the pending agricultural project as their own, using approximately ten acres of land owned by the Church. The land is located in Bolenge and is being worked by approximately 50 women using their own tools. Because of the proximity to Bolenge, the women are able to transport their goods without the problems of location incurred at Ikengo.
The acreage is being used to grow soybeans, peanuts, and corn. Because the acreage is across from Bolenge Hospital, the women have been in conversation with the doctors there to find out what crops would provide the best nutrition for the people in their area. Soybeans and peanuts were chosen because of their high protein levels and are being used for meals of patients at the hospital and with the people of Bolenge in general. The corn was chosen as the money crop to sell. Funds from the sale of the corn has helped the women to reinforce and expand the Nutrition Center through Bolenge Hospital.
Funds are needed to help the Department of Women maintain their efforts of providing sustainable farming activities that contribute to improved health.