Monthly Report – January 2023 Highlights

Feb 17, 2023 | Reports

Introduction

  • The month of JANUARY is broken down into 4 sessions of Training in the Village of Masase, Chieftainess Serenje’s area. A steady 30-40 attendees and more in-spite of being in the middle of the crop management season and the persistent rains.
  • VSLA meetings have continued to improve and seem to be attracting more for the full Farm Stew Training.
  • Business Plans for Commodity Broking have been investigated as Start-Up opportunities given the number of buyers of Farm Produce from town seasonally.
  • Other business opportunities are Oil Expelling with simple Hand operated machines, however these can only be used for Sunflower and Groundnuts. Soybean oil production would require more mechanical parts that require electricity to produce oil and the process significantly more and output less than the other seed types, however there are more by-products from the process.
  • 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.
  • Continued preparation of existing Farm Stew participant homes to become Certified Homes is on-going as before.
  • Delivery of additional support for the existing Farm Stew Team has been done.

Masase Village – 4th January (As reported)

FARMING- Proper spacing

FARMSTEW community in Masase is growing little by little, With the addition of new members, it was requested to demonstrate proper plant spacing, thus Trainers reminded the community of the importance of having a kitchen garden through out the year and having and eating variety of vegetables, especially of different colours.

Red onions were planted to demonstrate how to plant root vegetables, in a 1.1m × 5m raised bed,5 rows.

The community was encouraged to put up living fences, especially now when we are blessed with good rains.

Talking of the blessings of the good rains, our activities were limited to putting up one raised bed, due to the the heavy rains which came early.

Masase Village – 11th January (As Reported)

Enterprise-VSLA

11th, January 2023 marked exactly 5 months since Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) was introduced to FARMSTEW Masase participates through Enterprise. Within 5 months it has been noted how Members have improved the habit of saving money for future use.

VSLA group’s A and B, have got 27 and 28 members respectively, who so far have saved a combined total of K40,000+.($2200+)

After VSLA session, trainers and the community had a meeting,

1. Members were encouraged to keeping saving.

2. Members asked to encourage others who have missed lesson for the past 2 meetings.

3. Members were encouraged to meet all FARMSTEW requirements for a certified home/community.

4. Members discussed their willingness to contribute half of the money towards purchasing of a cooking oil machine.

Masase Village – 18th January (As Reported)

FARMING & ENTERPRISE

Today marks exact 28 days from the time farming community planted soybeans on the 21of December,2022,on the demo plot to follow the method recommended by FARM STEW.

After 7 days of planting, the community observed that the seed used, is of high quality, because the germination rate is above 90%.

Photo below,28 days ago.(21/12/22).

Today, the community met to weed, and add fertilizer, the quantity used was a bottle cap.(note, the adding of fertilizer which was to be done on day 30th,was done today 28 days, it’s because that’s when the community meets).

ENTERPRISE

Later the community had a meeting to choose 9 people; 5 females and 4 males, these people chosen will be in charge of buying maize, and report to the community. The selected persons will comprise an executive that will be in charge of the first COMMUNITY BUSINESS. The community agreed to make funds available for the executive by the month of June, 2023, a total of K10,000.

Masase Village – 25th January

ENTERPRISE – VSLA

Masase FARMSTEW community is thriving when it comes to putting the little money’s together. The community which is divided into 2 groups, A and B, with the membership of 30 and 28 respectively.

Today group A recorded a total sum of K4,840.00 from savings and loan returns, meanwhile group B had a total sum of K3,442.00.

On a sad note, the Chair lady of VSLA group A, had her son sent to Ndola town to seek medical treatment. Therefore Masase VSLA group’s A and B contributed a total of K100  from group A and K50 from group B, this is in accordance with VSLA rule number 2, which state as follows,” when a member, spouse, or child, is seeking medical treatment away from the village, VSLA group’s will be contributing a total of k100 from Social fund”.

The woman appreciated FARMSTEW community for the gesture, and encouraged not to stop to assist it’s members in times of trials.


Urban Farm Stew Planters at work (January 2023)

The Month of January has been a difficult one to organize the Community groups because of the heavy rains experienced throughout the country and at a time when most parents were preparing children to start the new school year. Meetings have been held inside homes which has limited participation and been difficult in some situations. The initial groups have been reduced but consolidated, allowing better organization and delivery because the new Planters were working together. Most of the groups had by mid January covered F.A.R.M.

The Coordinator for the groups has been appointed. Br. Aaron Zulu will be collecting and consolidating Reports from now on.

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.
  • The 6 Volunteers have started working side by side with the Trainers according to the training received and having Bible studies. Farm Stew Trainers will report on the spiritual gains achieved in the February Report.
  • We continue to make gains spiritually and face challenges at the same time as before.
  • 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
  • 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. Discussions continue and it is hoped to introduce a relevant ENTERPRISE product for the Urban area
  • 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

Reports compiled by H.Zebron – WGFSI – 17/02/2023

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