Thousands of acres of farmland lie underutilized across Ghana, Haiti, and Cambodia. If used to its full potential, this land could provide food and income for desperately needy families.
Our goal for the SALT Agri-Plus program is to work together and learn with local farmers what simple farming practices could make their fields and gardens more productive. This is done through experimentation, agricultural teaching, and seeking God and His Word for guidance.
Huge results in Haiti
Clint Bower in Haiti has been experimenting with bean varieties for the past two years. He found one variety of black beans to be drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, and yielding 50 to 70 percent more than the traditional bean! This bean seed is now in high demand among Haitian farmers.
At the beginning of growing season, we give 250-300 farmers several cups of bean seeds to try on their own plots. “We know it works, but we want them to do a trial and see the difference for themselves,” Clint says. The farmers then save the seeds for the next planting. “That way they’re not relying on us.”
Haitian farmers attend our Agri-Plus seminars to learn about growing, harvesting, and storing beans. Only farmers who have gone through these seminars are eligible to receive seeds. They also need to have planted vetiver grass hedges which help to preserve valuable topsoil when it rains.
The bean project is just one aspect of Agri-Plus in Haiti. Last year more than 900 new farmers went through the Agri-Plus program, learning how to conserve soil, work together as a community, and follow Biblical principles.
Can crops thrive in Ghana’s dry season?
In Ghana it’s hunger season, the time between plantings when fields lie barren while food from the previous harvest is nearly gone. This year in the village of Kpasonado, however, locals are seeing something they’ve never seen before—a cornfield tasseling during dry season.
“It’s just white man’s luck,” the women at the village well complain. But others ask, “How are you able to plant three months early?”
Nate Gray, our Agri-Plus director in Ghana, has spent several years in this region doing agricultural research. He is now ready to teach area farmers how proper seed spacing, fertilization, and mulching can greatly increase their yields even during dry season.
“This has opened many opportunities to discuss with people how we should be involving God in our farming practices and aligning our ways with His creation design,” shares Nate. A number of farmers are eagerly waiting to implement these methods in the next growing season.
Cambodia—a country of opportunity
In Cambodia, a country in Southeast Asia, traditional farming practices were lost during the Cambodian Genocide of 1975-1979. A military coup killed off most large landowners and seized family lands in an effort to bring the peasant farming community under communist rule. As a result, much agricultural knowledge was lost, and the village people struggle in dire poverty.
A CAM exploratory team visited Cambodia and found great potential but lots of unused land. “We saw very few garden plots in the poorer areas we visited,” reported Edward Martin. “Nearly all the fruits and vegetables are shipped in from elsewhere in the country. The opportunity for simple vegetable farming abounds, both for personal use and to market produce as a cash crop.”
Although the agricultural project in Cambodia is still in the research stage, and we currently don’t have Agri-plus staff there, we are excited about the possibility of seeing needy Cambodians use their resource of land to improve their lives. More importantly, combining agricultural teaching with Biblical teaching will help produce a spiritual harvest.
Our goal is to work together and learn with local farmers what simple farming practices could make their fields and gardens more productive. To support Agri-Plus and other SALT projects, please click below to give a one-time gift or start a monthly sponsorship.