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Seed Fertilizer and Food


The growing season in Zambia begins when the rains come in November. As soon as the ground is softened by the first rains the fields are plowed and planted with maize seed. In April the maize is harvested and the quantity of harvest is directly related to the generosity of the rains.

Throughout much of southern Africa, including all of Zambia, maize meal is the dietary staple. In the morning it is cooked as porridge, and for the evening meal it is prepared in a form resembling stiff mashed potatoes. In Zambia it is called “nsima”. Ideally, the nsima is accompanied by “relish”- fried onions, tomatoes and greens such as rape or cabbage. Most village people cannot afford to have meat or other protein on a daily basis, but once in a while will have fish, beans, chicken or groundnuts in their relish.

When the rains begin in November, Shepherd and Ruhtt Mbumwae provide seed and fertilizer for Churches in the greater Kalomo area. With this seed and fertilizer the church community are encouraged to help widows and other needy people. The sponsored students are also given seed and fertilizer to take to their relatives in hopes they can grow enough maize for the year. Our objective is always to help people to provide for themselves. With just a little assistance in the form of seed and fertilizer, widows and other needy people can grow their own food.

During years of drought when the crop yield is sparse, mealie meal (ground maize) is provided for poor families to tide them over until the next harvest. When available, beans and kapenta (dried fish) are also distributed to increase protein in their diet.

This program is overseen by Shepherd and Ruhtt Mbumwae, who endevour to help the most vulnerable people – assessing their dietary needs and striving to maintain that delicate balance of helping people without creating a situation of dependence.

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