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Action reaps rewards

Action Mutenheri is a Zimbabwean farmer who was helped by Concern. Now he’s harvesting more crops than ever before.

Traditionally, small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe used hoes to prepare their land for growing crops. Over the years, they began to use ox-driven ploughs.

At first, this seemed like a godsend. However, this method is often unsuitable for soil types in southern Africa, and led to the soil losing its fertility.

Restoring soil’s fertility

One way of restoring the soil is to use what Concern calls “conservation farming.” Instead of using ploughs, farmers dig holes which are filled in with manure or dried leaves. By the time farmers are ready to plant, the soil has regained fertility.

Concern is training farmers to do this. We’re also providing seeds and topsoil, ensuring farmers are ready to plant when the rains start.

Meet Action

Action Mutenheri has been involved in conservation farming for the last four years. To some in the community, this practice was seen as slightly backward. Action explains: “When my neighbours saw I was not using a plough and had gone back to digging, some really laughed at me. But when they saw my yields, I can tell you they were not laughing then. A couple of years ago, I was lucky if I harvested between 100 and 250 kilos of maize, this year I will harvest almost a ton!”

Huge harvest

Concern has now provided Action with new seeds. “Before, I could only afford to sow maize seed, but now I have a huge variety of crops to harvest. I plan to keep most to feed my family of seven, but I will have enough of a harvest to sell some crops.”

“My family won’t see hunger”

Action intends to spend the proceeds from his crops on school fees and fertiliser. “You know there has always been some hunger in this area, but this year my family won’t see any hunger. It makes me so happy and proud when my children have enough to eat and they can go to school,” he smiles.

Encouraged and motivated by this success, Action is determined to keep this momentum going. “I’ve bought some rabbits and am breeding them, as well as chickens. And next year I want to put in more effort to my farm. If you come back and see me in 10 years time, you’ll see I’ll have done well. Maybe I’ll have a bigger house, farm or electricity – who knows!”