Farmers in poverty-stricken countries often struggle to exist on small pieces of land. Despite adequate resources, farmers often lack the knowledge and training needed for reviving fields to raise good crops to sufficiently provide for their families.
The vision of Agri-Plus is to walk alongside these farmers and help them discover ways to better provide for their families. Along with this, we are able to teach clients how to follow Jesus in everyday life. We also have many opportunities to share the Gospel with unbelievers in SALT Agri-Plus groups.
Let’s take a tour across the globe and look at the places where Agri-Plus is operating.
Rural mountain farmers struggle to survive on extremely eroded farmland in Haiti. Deforestation and unsustainable practices brought this once fertile farmland to the brink of barrenness. After every rain, farmers despairingly watch their source of livelihood —the soil— wash out into the ocean. Agri-Plus teaches farmers to protect their topsoil by planting trees and contoured hedges of vetiver grass. They are also learning the value of mulching.
The Agri-Plus meetings provide many opportunities to teach practical Christian living. One farmer said, “In Agri-Plus they have taught us to always give God the first place in everything we do.” May God receive glory for all the good that is happening in the fields and hearts of Haitians.
Life in this African country can be harsh and difficult. The six-month dry season usually ends with much hunger. Food supplies are typically depleted and many farmers go into debt to buy overpriced grain to keep feeding their families. Grain is traditionally stored in woven grass huts where insects and rodents can easily destroy the precious grain supply. This escalates the needs during the “hunger season.”
Agri-Plus developed an airtight metal grain bin to hold forty to sixty bushels of grain safely throughout the dry season. Local craftsmen build these bins using traditional methods instead of welders and power tools. Farmers are organized into groups and store their grain collectively. Together they pay for the cost of the grain bins.
Someone from a remote village stated that these grain bins are the best things to overcome poverty in their community. Recently, when the group members were filling the bins, they praised God and rejoiced at the blessings He provided through this method of storage.
Agri-Plus also has several demonstration plots in Ghana to promote the value of crop residue and mulching.
Three years ago the Rohingya people were brutally driven out of their homeland of Myanmar and settled in a refugee camp in the mountains of southern Bangladesh. In late 2019, Agri-Plus started working in the camp to teach hillside gardening. The goal was for each family to be able to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
COVID-19 shut down all Agri-Plus activity in the camp during 2020. But recently the Agri-Plus groups started operating again, teaching the refugees how to make and use compost. Other things they will be learning are soil health, erosion control, and seed saving. Meeting with these groups of refugees allows Agri-Plus staff to regularly present the teachings of Jesus Christ to those who had little opportunity to learn about Him before.
May God be glorified as His name is lifted up in remote areas throughout the nations.