Farming God’s Way is yet another side of our ministry in Malawi, a technique used for preaching the gospel, strengthening & planting churches and extending the kingdom of God with an emphasis on sustainable agriculture as a model for life-transformation of individuals, communities and nations.
In our 10 year ministry in Malawi, we have noted way too many times how people make choices detrimental to their future. Although the large majority of Malawians are subsistence farmers and depend upon the land, the sad truth is that very few of them know how to farm in a sustainable way.
We have introduced Farming God’s Way at Hope for the Future out of necessity and because we want the people in the churches we work in to be self-sufficient, to feed their families and to rise above their current economical condition.
Africa has 30% of the world’s natural resources and some of the best climate, rainfall and soils in the world. It has an abundance of arable land compared to the rest of the world. Yet, 35% of the population is chronically undernourished and the whole continent of Africa only contributes 1.3% to the world’s produce.
Africa with 30,3 million km2 is larger than the combination of China (9,6 million km2), the USA (9,4 million km2), Western Europe (4,9 million km2), India (3,2 million km2) and Argentina (2,8 million km2), three Scandinavian countries and the British Isles put together.
However the gross domestic product (GDP PPP 2008 estimate) of Africa is US$ 3 trillion compared to world GDP at US$ 65 trillion i.e. Africa produces a mere 5% of the worlds GDP. This clearly displays that Africa has vast untapped potential.
While world grain production has been increasing, Africa’s production has declined steadily. In the years 1975 – 2003 the average grain yields changed as follows: USA: from 5.5 to 9 tons per hectare; Asia: from 2 to 4 tons per hectare; Africa, on the other hand, is averaging at a meagre 350 kg/ha.
These shortages are met by the importation of grains, amounting to over 25,000,000 tons annually, through aid organizations such as WFP and others, which in turn, receive donations from donor countries such as the USA, European Union, China, Canada, etc. Billions of dollars are being spent every year on Africa alone, yet things don’t seem to get any better for the average villager.
Is this system making a difference? Why are the poor getting poorer? Why 1 in 3 Africans is still undernourished and Africa is the only continent where the number of hungry people is increasing annually? Why is the situation getting worse despite all the aid being given?
Farming God’s Way course maintains the idea that traditional farming methods in Africa are not working because they have been imported from areas where the rainfall is different. Malawi has a annual rainy season with short intense periods of rain and plowed land is often washed away and only a small amount of moisture is retained. Current methods of farming seek to extract from the soil without caring for it or protecting it.
The Bible makes it clear that God is looking for those who will be faithful with what he has given and he will add to it. Farming God’s Way method protects and preserves the soil and rain he gives.
In God’s Natural Creation:
There is no ploughing.
There is a wonderful mulch cover from fallen leaves and plant material – called “God’s Blanket”.
There is no burning.
If the system is followed, every farmer should be able to:
Remove the yoke of oppresion which causes hunger, nakedness and poverty.
Feed the family.
Sell the surplus and make a profit and pay for other living expenses (school fees, clothes, shelter, medical, etc) as well as for next year’s inputs and equipment.
Be independent of the vicious cycle of the money lending and borrowing.
Give to others.
Be a testimony to others, showing them Jesus.
Help strengthen weak local churches.
Bring unity to the Body of Christ.
For the above to happen, everything must be done:
1. On Time. Plan ahead, prepare well, start early, never be late!
2. At A High Standard. Do every operation and detail as well as you can, with no shortcuts. Be honest and honourable in all you do.
3. Without Wastage. Don’t waste time, soil, water, sunlight, seed, nutrients, labour, energy, opporuntity etc.
4. With Joy. If you do these first three things faithfully without self pity, complaining, blaming others, making excuses, but with a thankful heart, God will take away any fear and hoplesness and give you hope and joy which is your strength.
The Biblical Foundations
1. Faithfulness with little (Stewardship)
The parable of the talents – if you are faithful with little God will add to you but if you are not faithful with little, He takes away. If you are faithful with the land God has given you, even if it is a little, then God will add to it.
2. Giving to recieve
Jesus said, “give and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). This breaks the yoke of selfishness. You cannot keep taking from the land without giving first.
The Plan of Action
We do not take ministry lightly, as we know it both hard to implement and important. People all over the world are very reluctant to change and sadly this is also true here. We will start by teaching the pastors and church leaders who attend our Pastors Conferences. The will understand the Scriptural aspect first and we will then help them with the actual training necessary.
As we will be giving out maize this year, every recipient of food will be encouraged to apply this technique on a small portion of their garden. We trust the results they see will further encourage them to apply it on a larger scale.
As I teach the pastors, I will be posting articles on the blog and the links will be provided below: