Monthly Report – February 2023 Highlights

Feb 28, 2023 | Reports


  • The month of FEBRUARY is broken down into 4 sessions of Training in the Village of Masase, Chieftainess Serenje’s area. An increase in attendees with a steady 40-50 and more in-spite of being in the middle of the crop management season and the rains which have continued unabated
  • VSLA meetings have continued to improve and seem to be attracting more for the full Farm Stew Training. As Before.
  • Hand Operated Oil Extruders have been ordered and received, trials have started to test fully their function before release into the Fram Stew Communities.
  • Farm Stew Planters City Team has started working in their respective areas with encouraging results. Further support to the Team including regular meetings to asses performance is an on-going exercise. As Before.
  • Continued preparation of existing Farm Stew participant homes to become Certified Homes is on-going as before. As Before.
  • Delivery of additional support for the existing Farm Stew Team has been done.

1.0 Masase Village – 1st February 2023 (As reported)

This week we were sharing water melon seeds, butternut seeds and going around to check the homes of Farmstew members.

A)when growing watermelon you need to target the best months in which you can sow watermelon which is early March and early August, sow 1 or 2 seeds 1inch (25mm) deep and it grows well in sandy or well drained soil and space is needed for each plant and do not harvest early you have to wait until it grows to its full size.

B)Butternuts, (source of Beta Carotene) you need 2-3 seeds, 1 inch(25mm) and it grows well in well drained soil, space is needed and it takes about 3-4 months to fully mature.

NOTE: These are not commonly grown. Training was therefore essential.

Then Farmstew trainers and volunteers had to share visiting homes and go round to check if the members who have not yet managed to have the following because there are people who just joined recently.

  • kitchen garden
  • toilet. 
  • tippy tap  
  • 2 pits
  • plate rack   
  • clean surrounding
  • under 5 children without hunger

2.0 Masase Village – 8th February 2023 (As Reported)

Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA)

This week group A savings were K2060 and the loan paid back was K2910 and the total was K4970,while group B savings were K1780 and the loan paid back was K2530 and the total was K4310. Total on both groups was K9280.

We were updating Farm Stew members that only those homes certified will qualify for a conventional Bee Hive starter unit, beginning of April they will start making them in order to prepare for the May/June start of the breeding. There will be an agreement with each owner of the Hive and if the first one is successful there will be an additional 2 till each one should have 5 and all the honey harvested will be bought by Farm Stew and then sold as a Farm Stew Product.

Another update was on the project on soyabeans for cooking oil, as Farm Stew community will soon have a machine and people were excited cause many members this season planted soyabeans.

A Sunflower and Groundnut Oil Expeller was also ordered for Hand expelling oil.

3.0 Masase Village – 15th February (As reported)

SOYA CORN BREAD MAKING: This week we were teaching how to make round bread or half cake, the following are the things needed; 1.soya meal  2.maize meal oil  4.honey/sugar  5.salt  6.baking powder, 7.Lemons  8.charcoal and brazier.

We used the following procedure, we used 2 cups of soya meal and 4 cups of maize meal the number of cups for soya meal then you have to double the number of maize meal, then we added 1 tea spoon of salt and 2 full table spoon of baking powder mix well and then add 8 table spoon of honey, a bit of cooking oil in order to soften the bread mix well and then grate 2 lemons only the outer part, we used the outer part of the lemon in order to add flavor because we didn’t have vanilla essence mix well and then add water, so the amount of water on whether you want it soft or hard. We made two, one soft and a hard one. Then you put a bit of oil in the pot so the the bread won’t stick to the pot then you put the mix in the pot and put a lid on top and on top of the lid place more burning charcoal and in the brazier less, whilst the pot is in it, checking it regularly to see if it’s brown on top and not burnt at the bottom. When brown and looks ready use a knife and try to cut the bread if nothing sticks to the knife then it’s ready.

We then shared eggplant transplant and we had to teach again how to plant them cause of new members, make a bed of 1.1m and 5m and then 2 rows inside and should plant 12 plants and there should be a distance of 75cm between each plant.

4.0 Masase Village – 22nd February 2023 (As reported)

This week Group A savings were K1850 and the loans paid were K3200 and the total was K4050. Group B savings were K2100 and the loans paid back were K2250 and total K4350. Total for Group A and Group B was K8400. VSLA has helped màny to start small businesses. Others were able to get loans and send their children who passed going into grade 8 at Chieftainess Serenje.

(1)When Group A and Group B came together for Farm Stew meeting after the VSLA Session, we had to remind ourselves of one of the rules we made as members.

Rule number 2 says if a member or his wife or the husband or child is sick and has been transferred to Serenje Hospital or Chitambo Mission Hospital then  group A has to give K50 and Group B K50 to give to the member K100 so that it can at least help the member, in this case it’s one one the volunteers Sr Rosemary Mambwe who hasn’t been feeling well for 2-3 months and was transferred to Serenje Hospital, she went last week Monday but now she is back home and this week Wednesday it’s when we had to give her K100.

(2)We had to inform the members that soon will have 2 other Farm Stew communities and they can inform other people but Farm Stew trainer and volunteers will soon start going round to inform and promote Farmstew program.

Urban Farmstew Planters At Work – February 2023

Farm Stew Planters for February managed to get some Training in-between the persistent rains, doing indoor theory and some practicals.

There are now 5 established small communities with potential to grow. A Refresher/Nurturing program is planned for March to assist with some of the challenges faced. This is tough territory but persistence has already paid off  in some of the communities.

Further Information

  • FARM STEW TRAINERS have received additional support to ease their access further afield and will beginning January receive a regular stipend for their part time work in the communities. ENTERPRISE equipment being ordered in the month of February for use in the Masase Community as a test run of possibilities. Done Stipend being reassessed in line with actual time spent per week. Equipment Ordered and shipped.
  • Farm Stew Trainers will report on the spiritual gains achieved in the February Report. Report awaited
  • New Farm Stew Planters in the high density urban locations have reported fewer meetings in some cases and others have continued as before with smaller numbers because of the heavy and persistent rains. There is reported much interest in the programs. One team member reported an existing 40+ member VSLA group that will be targetted for FS Training. On-Going exercise
  • We have initiated discussions with the Ministry responsible for NGO’s for a model of Savings and Loans to suit the high density urban locations similar to VSLA. Awaiting feedback
  • Farm Stew Training for Lunga District and Kabansa Village together with the Flood Affected Areas of Southern Province is critical and Logistical Planning for the these areas together with a Medical Mission Program has begun. The months of March, April and May are to be used for these important programs. – AS BEFORE


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