What is Foundations for Farming?
Foundations for Farming is an initiative aimed at bringing transformation to individuals, communities and nations through faithful and productive use of the land.
It combines the teaching of biblical principles that apply to all of life with a farming method derived from observing the way things work in God’s natural creation.
God has revealed a very simple conservation farming method with an implementation management teaching, which when applied helps people to apply the gospel to their lives. The vision is to help the vast masses of Africa, who are dependent on the land, to faithfully use what they have been given to farm profitably and come out of poverty.
Doing Farming Profitably
Brian Oldreive, founder of Foundations for Farming, believes that the key to breaking poverty in Africa is to teach people to farm profitably. This means being faithful with the first thing God has given – the land.
Profitability is essential for sustained production and development. The only alternative to profitability for survival in the short term is begging or theft, both of which cause poverty in the long term.
Doing things His way
There is fruitfulness when things are done in God’s way, using His methods and His principles, such as being faithful in the small things, as it is a natural law that those who are faithful with what they have, will gain more.
What we can observe from his natural creation
1. In nature, there is no ploughing, or soil inversion. These weaken the soil structure and increase top soil loss. Foundations for Farming principles protect and preserve the soil and rain a farmer is given.
2. There is a wonderful mulch cover from the fallen leaves and plant material. This greatly reduces soil erosion and captures and transfers the precious water effectively to the plants, reducing the risk from drought, pests and disease.
4 Key Principles of Foundations for Farming
There are 4 key principles, that God has revealed, which can be applied to all walks of life.
Profitability is possible if you faithfully apply these management principles of doing everything:
1. On Time
Plan ahead, Prepare well, Start early, Never be late.
2. At High Standard
Do every operation and detail as well as you can with no shortcuts.
Be honest and honorable in all you do.
3. Without Wastage
Don’t waste time, soil, water, sunlight, seed, nutrients, labour, energy, opportunity…
4. With Joy
If you do these first three things faithfully without self pity, complaining, blaming others, making excuses, but with thankfulness, there will be no need for fear and hopelessness and you will have hope and joy which gives you strength.
What can a small scale farmer who implements this expect to gain?
Typically, you’ll be able to grow sufficient food to:
1. Feed your family
2. Sell surplus to help buy next year’s inputs
3. Sell profitably and pay for other living expenses including your children’s education
4. Give to others
There are numerous testimonies of farmers who, by adopting Foundations for Farming methods, have increased their yield over tenfold i.e. 0.3 tonnes to over 3 tonnes.
Late planting is a major source of crop loss, with an estimated 30% of optimum yield lost for each month of delay. The Foundations for Farming approach has been promoted to more than 50,000 households and has consistently increased cereal yields by 50-200%. Early planting and application of Foundations for Farming methods thus have the potential to increase yields far in excess of 2 tonnes/hectare.
The Foundations for Farming principles can be applied in the smallest back yard garden to the largest commercial farm. On a small scale all work is manual and requires nothing more technical than a hoe, which is ideal in Zimbabwe, where small scale farmers cannot afford expensive equipment.
For more details, please visit our website on foundationsforfarming.org