Farming is a huge part of life in rural Zambia. Most people have at least a small plot to grow maize and maybe some vegetables. Since being in Zambia, I have become a huge fan of a programme called ‘Foundations for Farming’, which tries to teach Biblical methods for farming. These are simple things, such as what it means to care for the land well and to have a Biblical work ethic towards the land. It often involves a bit more work, for example farmers are encouraged to reuse stubble rather than burn it up, but the results are quite astonishing – sometimes 2 or 3 times the yield! Indeed, our own students at the Bible College are given just a small plot of land and since implementing FFF they now have enough to feed their families and even some to sell.
The thing that is so great about FFF is that it is not just a new technique for greater yield and profit but the core value is being a steward of God’s land. This stands in contrast to many traditional methods, which are often linked to witchcraft.
Just over a week ago we held a field day at Fiwale to share this programme with the local people and to demonstrate how the programme can work. And then last Friday, I went with one of the students to Ndola to share at another field day. Sydney Pensulu, our third year student, gave his testimony about how the FFF programme has enabled him to grow enough maize not only for himself but also to give back to the church. He shared how when we give what little we have to God, he can multiply it – Syndey bought a small amount of Tomato seed, and within a short time was supplying most of the college with tomatoes!
I believe this programme has the potential to radically change poverty in Africa, although it’s not without opposition. The traditional association with witchcraft is not easily broken, and we do feel some big challenges lie ahead!