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Helping the Poor Help Themselves & Good News from Tanzania

How many times do we hear how difficult it is to solve the problem of global poverty? It is something that looms large in the media, and it persists as an urban myth that widespread poverty is getting worse and is an impossible problem to solve. Below is a excerpt from the World Bank's study on Global Poverty:

"From 1981 onwards, we have better empirical data on global extreme poverty. The data from 1981 onwards come from the World Bank, which bases their estimates on household surveys. (See below for more on where historical poverty estimates come from). According to these household surveys, 44% of the world population lived in absolute poverty in 1981. Since then, the share of poor people in the world has declined very fast—in fact, faster than ever before in world history. In 32 years the share of people living in extreme poverty was divided by 4, then reaching levels below 11% in 2013. Although the World Bank estimates for 2015 are not yet available, the projections suggest that the incidence of extreme poverty has fallen below 10% for that year."

Myth Buster #1......Global Poverty in Decline Cited from : Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2018) - "Global Extreme Poverty". Published online at Retrieved from: '' [Online Resource]

Most Extreme Poverty is in Sub-Saharan Africa

From the map of Global Poverty it can be clearly seen that worlds poorest peoples are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Myth Buster #2 It is not so hard to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty

Most of these people living in sub-Saharan Africa, (around 80%), depend on dry-land farming for their food and livelihood. (Dry-land farming is simply farming without irrigation. As in Australia or North America, in most areas of Africa there is not enough water for irrigation). We are finding the African farmers are very hard working and motivated to improve their lot and to provide a better future for their families. They are keen to learn how to improve their soils and their production and increase their profits.

Farmers want to embrace Conservation Agriculture (CA).

We are working with pastors, farmers and village leaders who have a vision to lift their communities out of poverty by improving their farming. Our Field Manager Marko, is finding that so many farmers are wanting to join our CA project. We don't have the resources to enable them all. However we are going step by step and in God's time we will be able to assist many more farmers!

Flooding in Dawar Village!

This area had a serious drought last year! It is so good to see good soaking rains for these farmers. It is a short-term problem for them, but it means that the ground will be thoroughly soaked and should ensure a good crop this year.

Planting in Basutu

This is Samuel driving the Planter

These photos were taken in end of January 2018 where they were planting at Basutu, which is near Dawar. By the time they get back to Dawar it will be dry enough to start planting there. Dawar is where we have the largest farmers group.

Willy ( Marko's son) preparing the sprayer for controlling the weeds

Planting will continue till late March or April 2018 and our team will work with as many farmers as they can stretch the budget to include. If you would like to help them with this, please go to the donate tab on our website to see the options for donating. It would be so appreciated. The cost of buying good seed and fertilizer for the first crop is a big obstacle for local farmers who are wanting to improve their farming.

Small Machines for Small-Lot- Holder Farmers

We are finding many leaders asking for help from poor villages that have very small farm plots, (less than 2 acres), and don't have a tractor. We would like to be able to help them access the benefits of CA at a low cost. We can import ready- made single-row planters from China for about $500 each. They are designed to be pulled by a small power-tiller or by oxen. We can easily convert them to low-till and it will mean that we can help many more farmers at present can't access improved CA methods.

Small Power Tillers from China available in Tanzania

They would be ideal for pulling the single row planters and with a trailer that is also useful. They cost around $2,500. We hope to buy 5 of these machines to place with leaders in small-lot villages. Our team will train the local farmers to use them and advise on the best seed and fertilisers to use and this will empower the farmers to do it all themselves.

A Chinese single row planter

Chinese Power-tiller with it's trailer attached.  They are a handy machine in Africa, and they are easy to maintain.

Plans for this year

We plan to build two more tractor-mounted planters this year. Our team have sold the last spare machine so we have four planters out working hard and we have had requests for more machines. If you know someone with skills with machinery and would like to help, please contact us.

More Needed

Our team also really needs a light truck as a service/ support vehicle that can carry water, seed and fertiliser and also field service equipment.

Avocado Oil – Women’s Empowerment Project

Tammy O'Keefe from our committee is planning a trip to Tanzania to lay the groundwork for this project. We believe this project will empower women financially, and also build community, as they work together in this shared project.

We ask you to join us in prayer for her protection, God' provision and guidance.

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