Agricultural Development at Mt. Selinda
In 2007-2008 Zimbabwe experienced hyperinflation on the scale unknown in history. The hyperinflation (some reports say 231 million per cent in 2008. Interestingly, Forbes Asia put the rate at 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent – 65 followed by 107 zeros) resulted in a total collapse of the economy …
In 2007-2008 Zimbabwe experienced hyperinflation on the scale unknown in history. The hyperinflation (some reports say 231 million per cent in 2008 and, interestingly, Forbes Asia put the rate at 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent – 65 followed by 107 zeros) resulted in a total collapse of the economy putting an already struggling country into hunger and despair. The hardships are felt deeply in the rural areas where unemployment hovers around 80 per cent. Global Ministries has been instrumental in funding initiatives to bring about economic recovery.
The Food Security project to which I am assigned aims to improve the food quality and quantity for people in rural areas. Secondary goals include providing needed employment financial support for the Mission. The Food Security Project has made strides in renewing the long vacated agricultural program at Mt. Selinda Mission. In conjunction with local leadership and with the help of OGHS dollars, a used tractor was purchased and overhauled to clear the overgrown fields. The first year 9 hectares (22 acres) were cleared and planted with maize and pinto beans. The second year 20 hectares (45 acres) were farmed, and year three saw 25 hectares (63 acres) worked. The original goal was to double the acreage each year, but the goal was not met due to draught and cash flow issues. Hand labor is used for planting, fertilizing, weeding and harvesting which, over three years, has contributed $12,000 to the local economy.
In addition to growing crops, the Food Security Project raises pigs and chickens. Farm raised chickens and pigs are donated to the Children’s Home to provide needed protein. There is also a large garden project. The seeds are provided by the Food Security Program and the garden is tended by the children at the Children’s Home and by hospital employees. The garden provides broccoli, kova, cabbage, rape and carrots to the hospital and children’s home.
Manaka is a mother trying to send her children to school. When she receives word that Mt.Selinda is looking for farm labor, she packs her baby on her back, her maize and a pot on her head, and walks the 40 miles to Mt. Selinda. She will stay in the area with relatives or members of her ethnic group, or maybe under a tree, until the work is complete.
In the future, the Food Security Project will expand to the sister mission at Chikore. There are also plans to grow macadamia nuts as an export product. Plans are underway to build a farmstead to provide storage and security to the machinery. All projects look to sustainability to provide food and income well into the future.
Thank you for giving through One Great Hour of Sharing. Your continued support ensures that this project and others like it can continue to provide hope and nutrition to people in rural Zimbabwe and around the world.