Developing local agriculture to alleviate the food crisis – Democratic Republic of Congo

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Humanity & Inclusion works alongside local farmers to help communities cope with the threat of a food crisis.

More than 35% of the population of Kasai-Central province in the Democratic Republic of Congo is severely food insecure, leading to rising levels of malnutrition. Action Against Hunger, Humanity & Inclusion and other partners are implementing USAID-funded agricultural recovery and food aid activities in the Dibaya region that will reach more than 32,500 people.

In March 2022, Humanity & Inclusion distributed vegetable growing kits to 4,700 households. These kits contained a spade, hoes, rake, watering can and vegetable seeds including cabbage, okra, eggplant and tomato.

Supported by the technical services of the State, the Humanity & Inclusion teams trained 63 “relay” farmers in market gardening practices. The training is designed to build the skills of farmers while teaching them environmentally friendly farming techniques, such as growing crops without the use of chemical pesticides and producing natural fertilizers. These farmers then pass on their newly acquired knowledge to their communities, transferring their skills to more people.

“It’s the first time we’ve had this kind of training in the village,” she explains. “It’s very useful because we have problems making our agricultural land fertile enough, and protecting our crops from pests and diseases. As part of the training, the Humanity & Inclusion teams taught us how to prepare a vegetable garden , to recognize production soils, how to make beds and how to plant seeds.”

One of the objectives of this training is to make agricultural activities sustainable by encouraging the use of fertilizers made from locally available products, such as plant debris, ash and manure.

“For me, the most interesting module was the one on natural fertilizers, especially 7-day compost,” continues Nkaya. “This is the kind of knowledge we are looking for to improve our practices and our production. We have all the raw materials we need in our villages, but, until now, we did not know how to use them. Thanks to this training, I will no longer have problems with my production because I will make my own natural fertilizers.”

Nkaya is eager to share these new techniques with his neighbours.

“I am well equipped now and ready to pass on what I have learned to other people in my village,” Nkaya adds. “It will also be an opportunity for me to improve my own mastery of these techniques. In addition to sharing knowledge with us, Humanity & Inclusion has provided us with equipment — raincoats, rubber boots, rope and logbooks — to help us when we train other people. I’ll make good use of it!”

GREEN Initiative: Humanity & Inclusion is committed to reducing the adverse effects of climate change on people around the world. We help communities prepare for and adapt to climate shocks and stresses, and we respond to crises amplified by environmental factors. By applying a disability, gender and age (DGA) inclusion lens to all our actions, we advocate for practitioners and policy makers to also integrate DGA into their climate work. Humanity & Inclusion is also committed to reducing its own ecological footprint by adapting and implementing environmentally friendly approaches in humanitarian action.

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