Rice is among the most common staple foods in Africa, and thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® our partner in Sierra Leone, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO), has been able to significantly increase its rice production significantly.
FHDO executive director Rev. Francis Mambu recently posted on social media that it has “officially launched its new brand of parboiled quality rice and is all set for market” in 25kg and 50kg (55 pounds and 100 pounds) at a cost of Le175,000 and Le350,000 ($17.34 and $34.90) respectively, which amounts to 31 cents per pound.
Rev. Mambu also announced that they are currently harvesting 500 acres of rice “the second-largest local farm rice in the country,” all in a bid to help 450 women from six local villages who have formed a women’s farmers group to work at the rice farm.
We are, of course, overjoyed with Rev. Mambu’s success, but we would be remiss not to recognize our supporters, and our partners here in the U.S. including Arms Around Africa, which provides administrative support, and the Royer Family Foundation which provided FHDO with two tractors and other farming equipment including pillows, hummer mills, grain thrasher, and more.
Thanks to our faithful donors and supporters for enabling us to fund part of the construction of the milling house. Very soon a milling house at the Faith Healing Agricultural Project (FHAP) at Yankansa village will be operational for the milling of its rice, as well as provide jobs for women from the nearby villages will be completed soon.
Rev. Mambu had noted that FHAP has had to keep much of the rice it produces in storage due to the fact that the farm currently lacks a milling house to had value to the rice and make it more marketable.
“Unmilled rice is cheap as the demand is comparatively low,” he informed us. “The need for a milling machine cannot be over-emphasized.”
And, just as Rev. Mambu is, we cannot wait for that day to arrive providing thousands of Sierra Leonean children, parents and elders will a belly full of processed rice every day.
Today, October 16, is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s World Food Day which recognizes the sad fact of steady increase in hunger since 2014 together with rising obesity due to poor nutrition, clearly indicates the need to accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen food systems and protect people’s livelihoods.
The FAO notes that smallholder farmers need greater access to finance, training, innovation and technology to improve their livelihoods, and that is exactly what Bread and Water for Africa® is doing in sub-Saharan African counties including Kenya where the Baraka Farm provides practical dairy training to small holder dairy farmers in the community teaching them best practices and how to get the most production from their small herds.
Bread and Water for Africa ®knows all too well that without food security, Africa’s future will be in jeopardy. In Sierra Leone, working with our longtime partner, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO), we have supported their efforts to provide hundreds of small holder farmers – primarily women – with the information, materials and seeds to grow cassava (a starchy root vegetable that is a staple in the country) and other vegetables and fruits to feed their family as well as selling any surplus they may have at local markets.
In addition, thanks to our supporters we are able to provide grant funding to FHDO as well as farming equipment to operate their 100-acre rice farm (another Sierra Leone food staple) as well as assisting in the construction of the its poultry production facility which provides chickens to families at prices they can afford.
Most recently, we are currently raising funds for our partner in Zambia, the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, to construct a greenhouse and chicken coop to provide healthy food for the dozens of children living there as well as selling surplus at local markets.
According to the FAO, over 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food including countless millions living in sub-Saharan Africa. The global population is expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050.
Nearly 690 million people are hungry, up 10 million since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic could add between 83-132 million people to this number, depending on the economic growth scenario, according to the FAO.
Collective action across 150 countries is what makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. Hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together governments, businesses, NGOs, the media, and general public. They promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.
World Food Day 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of FAO in an exceptional moment as countries around the world deal with the widespread effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a time to look into the future we need to build together.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, we have been promoting foodself–sustainability in Africa for over two decades. The COVID-19 era has increased the need more than ever.
The COVID-19 outbreak in Zambia is having a devastating impact on the economy of the country, and on our longtime partner there, the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre.
Due to rampant inflation, the prices of staple foods increasesignificantly pretty much with each passing day, reports Kabwata founder and director Angela Miyanda.
“Prices of essential foods have gone up greatly,” says Angela who is struggling to keep those 32 girls and 18 boys currently living at Kabwata under her care fed, and additional 23 children living with extended family and foster care arrangements
“From the time of the infection in Zambia, the economy has not done well, leading to major problems for many families and charitable organizations. Some charities have since closed down for not have the vision of sustaining the program beyond donor funding.”
But Angela does have that vision.
Over the years, thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, we have been able to support projects leading to self-sufficiency, such as a fish farming project which provides fish for the children as well as generates income for the orphanage, as well as a banana plantation.
Now, Angela has another vision in mind, made particularly necessary at this time due to the coronavirus pandemic, to construct an 80mx40m greenhouse to grow crops including tomatoes, cabbages, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, onions, cucumbers and what she calls “local vegetables.”
In addition to the greenhouse, she is hoping to construct a chicken coop that will provide eggs for the children and for sale at the local market.
“The intention of having the greenhouse is to grow crops for long-term sustainability, and that will be beneficial to the children,” she explained. “This will help us to reserve funding for other needs such as education and healthcare.”
Angela has already drawn up plans for the proposed greenhouse including a budget of just under $10,000 for the aluminum structure, polythene for covering, sprinklers and accessories, and construction costs.
All she needs now is the funding to build it.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sudden changes in the lifestyle of Zambia,” says Angela. “With the prices of essential commodities having gone up so much it has become hard for the orphanage to be buying these commodities for the children.
“It has always been the intention of the project to stand alone to avoid being dependent on donor support. We still believe to achieve this one day.
“Thank you, supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®