Before 2000, the Lunda tribe was still a hunter-gatherer tribe who subsisted on severely diminished reserves of wild game and plants in their tribal area. Agriculture was mostly non-existent or very primitive and unproductive. The Lunda Tribe had the highest infant mortality rates of all tribes in Zambia and the average life expectancy of the Lunda people was about 32 years. In 2000 many of the children between the ages of two and six were suffering from severe protein, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and severely underweight for their ages; they had classic potbellies, swollen feet, and reddish hair, common with those deficiencies. Villages were still semi-permanent with dirt floors, thatch roofs, and only mud brick walls. There was little access to green vegetables, or high protein foods. Milk was not available. Eggs when available were permitted to be eaten only by the adult men. With nothing to sell, most people existed in a cashless society where rats, mice, and insects were the only locally available protein foods. The focus of our project was twofold: First, to address the need for protein, minerals, and vitamins in the local diet, especially for women and children, and second, to give families an income so that they can improve their economic circumstances. To this end, we have introduced high mineral vegetables such as Swiss chard and broccoli as well as high protein pulses such as black beans, soybeans, sunflowers, etc. We have introduced fruits such as improved bananas, plantains, strawberries, rhubarb, citrus fruits, grafted mangoes, guavas, avocados, etc. to supplement mineral and vitamin needs. We have introduced improved milking goats and milking cattle to the area and perfected ways to keep them in the severely impoverished environment. This has made high protein milk available for the first time in this area. Several orphaned infants have been saved due to the availability of milk in their diets. To the area, we introduced hybrid-laying chickens able to produce 2000 eggs per day. By increasing the supply of eggs and feeding improved feeds utilizing locally produced corn, we have been able to lower the price of eggs and, thus, get more eggs into the diets of the poor. Originally, we had a difficult time selling eggs, but now are able to sell all the eggs we produce with little effort. People are learning that eggs improve health and save the lives of their children. In the year 2000, the Kanyama Chiefdom had the lowest maize production in the entire district. By 2010, it was number one in maize production. The increase in family income has permitted more children to attend school and to have access to medical services. Today more people are living in multi-room homes with concrete floors, tin roofs, and glass windows. More and more people have motorcycles. Our project has promoted a hydroelectric scheme and encouraged a cell phone system. With income, people will be able to afford these necessities, which will benefit their families.
Goals & Objectives
Our continuing goal is to empower poor families through the introduction of plant and animal agriculture and methods for sustainable farming thus improving family health and nutrition and increasing family income. This is a UMC Conference owned farm with a multi-year task before it. In the past ten years, we have greatly improved nutrition, health and the living standards of families throughout the area through introduction of new crops, animals and methods of farming. These successes can be measured by less malnutrition in children, better housing, larger maize and bean crops, more children attending school, and more people employed in commercial agriculture. This is a continuing, attainable, and measurable success. Objectives continue to be the following: a.) The introduction, development of garden, orchard, forestry, and field crops to demonstrate their viability and reliability by local farmers and landowners. b.) Introduction of milking cattle and goats for improved family nutrition and economic benefit. c.) Introduction and management of small animals such as sheep, turkeys, rabbits, ducks, bees, etc. to increase family nutrition and economic stability. d.) The development of an animal traction program that can train local farmers in the use of oxen and donkeys that will expand crop farming and reduce the burden on women. e.) Development of a sustainable forestry program to show that pines can be grown economically for profit by local landowners. f.) Design and introduction of appropriate technology tools for agriculture. g.) Continued clearing and development of church property for agricultural pursuits.
a.) Clear land for additional fields. b.) Build a new 30 X 10 meter dairy and cattle barn. c.) Build a 30 X 10 meter chicken coop. d.) Expand chicken production to 3000 chickens. e.) Build RAM pump and expand water system. f.) Continue to provide livestock, trained oxen, and equipment necessary for local farmers to be successful entry-level farmers. g.) Work with government agencies, NGO's, and local communities to train local farmers individually or at events. h.) Continue to support day cares that will help prepare needy children for success in the public school system. i.) Continue to develop a pig project; get pigs out into the surrounding communities. j.) Continue to develop a sustainable pine tree nursery and pine forest. k.) Continue to develop and use our tractor and tractor equipment to plant our growing croplands. l.) Continue to expand cattle, sheep, and goatherds. m.) Continue to work with local United Methodist Congregations to expand membership and improve economic health. n.) Support Chief's Rain Festival, sponsor Farmer's Field Day, and contribute crops and animals to agricultural fairs and exhibitions.