4:50 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Many people overlook the small amount of resources they have to build themselves a better future. Mozambique is land rich, there is more than enough to go around. If someone has a vision to use agricultural land well, the Government will give them land, and in many cases seed to start off. If a person takes that land and uses it, in a short time they will have a profit and are then able to begin building a better life. 

The hinderances to being a successful subsistence farmer then is not what they have, it is very much cultural. A lack of desire to change from traditional methods of farming and adopt improved sustainable agricultural techniques and family expectations / pressures are just two of the hinderances standing in the way of being financial security. 

Typically a 4-hectare farm is considered to be large among the people. This is partly due to the habit of preparing the ground after the first rain falls in the wet season. They are then in a rush to plant so they can catch the next rain and they have not yet cleared the weeds that will compete with the crop. The lack of adequate ground preparation and fertilisation and the rushed 'we'll just plant as much as we can in a short period of time' approach severely limits the quality and quantity of any harvest to come. If this crop fails they don't have enough to sustain the family never mind having some extra product to sell to pay school fees, buy clothes, visit the hospital or cover other vital expenses. If this crop is successful the family can usually just get by until the next harvest.

A severe hinderance to a larger than normal farm is that if a Mozambican was to plant say 40 hectares of crop during the year with the assistance of a rented tractor or traction animals, they would then be expected to help support those in their extended family who did not plant or planted too little. So they may also struggle to get through the year due to the number of "dependents" they have. So they work harder than others to gain the same result. Where is the incentive? What is the answer?

The answer lies in the need to disciple the whole community. We need to change the world view of the people to become more Christ centred. Those who don't understand the teachings of the bible may well disagree. My challenge to you is to read the book that takes man from a garden into a city. It outlines the steps along the way. Covering ways to trade successfully, ways to relate to those around you and most importantly, ways to put others before ourselves including the one who created us. 

The bottom line of any community development is changing the way people think and what they have the capacity to plan and achieve. To really help Mozambicans out of poverty we are seeing that more time spent explaining and encouraging is needed and less time doing and showing.