As part of the support project for farmers of the South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our organization Youth for Peace and Development of the Rural World- JPDMR, non-profit association, has developed an approach named “Sustainable Family Farming in Rural Areas” in the Kajuchu locality, Irambi-Katana community on the Kabare Territory with the aim of educating and sensitizing farmers in this area.
Two themes were developed during the education and awareness sessions.
- How to connect family farming and markets to promote “local consumption.”
In this phase, the following sub-themes were addressed: (i) how local family farming can supply domestic markets and feed cities and rural settlements, (ii) how this agriculture can compete with imported products and regain a share of urban and rural markets, (iii) how to promote “local consumption”, (iv) how the rural population can lead fulfilling lives through family farming, (v) how producers, sellers and consumers can organize themselves to improve the responses to each other’s needs.
- How to develop sustainable agriculture practices and food systems
Through this theme, the following aspects were tackled:
- how to develop sustainable agriculture to meet the challenge of feeding cities and rural areas through family farming for the elimination of hunger,
- how to adapt family farming to climate change,
- how it can contribute to the preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, either during production, processing or marketing.
During this activity, several testimonies were made by the women and men showing some improvement thanks to these lessons and advice received from the youth organization.
Through this activity, farmers are now able to produce, eat and sell something from their harvests and use the proceeds to cater for some of their daily needs.
This is the case, for example, of 54 year old Solange NANJIRA, widow and mother of 5 children. “During this year, I grew corn, beans and peanuts. After harvesting and selling beans and peanuts, I was able to pay tuition fees for 3 of my children and I had enough food left to satisfy my feeding needs ” declared Mrs. Solange NANJIRA adding that “the corn harvest yielded an income of 280 $ that I used to purchase sheets of zinc for my new house but also a goat and a pig to raise”.
This approach is in its pilot and experimentation phase and we intend to extend it to other localities of our area. We have already sensitized 250 people including 200 women and 50 men. The main challenge of this activity is related to our limited resources because we use our own funds without the contribution of an external partner. The organization Youth for Peace and Development of the Rural World was created in 2014. It is based in the city of Bukavu, South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its funds for the moment depend solely on members’ contributions.