Fast Trip February
Peter's Report Trip to Kenya and Tanzania with Bill and Monique Crabtree.
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Bill is know as 'No-till Bill', and is widely known as a pioneer of No-till (or Conservation Tillage) in WA, and indeed around the world. Bill and Monique have providentially met key people from Africa, both in farming and in Government, and Africa is very much on their hearts.
The Kili family in Kenya
From Left. Young Dutch farmer couple, Bill and Monique, Peter, George Kili, Jones, Peace (she survived the Rwanda genocide! She now lives in Perth and has a heart for farming and development in Africa) Rod Kili, and his sister Grace, who would like to study in Perth.
George Kili came from a poor African family that had become Christians through the African Inland Church. He began his working life working for a local mechanic, then bought a tractor, then eventually bought land. He and his sons now run a large farm that operates at a standard of efficiency and excellence that would be equal to anywhere in the world.
George's sons are keen to come down to Tanzania, to inspire our farmers as to what is possible. This family really demonstrates that good farming is not a 'white-man thing', but that local people are just as able to see farming become a profitable and sustainable business. They are modeling how the Kingdom of God can be worked out on an African farm, how good stewardship of the land can produce great results. Their Maize yields on average around 7-8 tonnes per hectare.
From here we travelled back to Nairobi where Bill had a very fruitful meeting with senior government officials from the Kenyan Agriculture Department. After Bill's meeting we continued South West to Athi River to visit Stuart and Anni Barden from New South Wales, who run a very impressive farming project.
Stuart runs regular training days to teach local farmers, and uses his farm to demonstrate good farm management including, controlled traffic, which minimises soil compaction. We saw his 800ha. silage crop which was a cross between Sudan grass and Sorghum, that had yielded 24 tonnes per ha! Not bad on 50cms of rain.
Stuart's farm borders a national park and we were treated to the sights of giraffe, zebra wildebeest and ..... a few wart hogs.
From Stuarts’, we headed South to Tanzania, to a place called Mombo, towards the coast. Here we met with Floyd and Cathy Hammar, who are doing amazing work with a children's home, school and a medical clinic. They have now bought a farm and would like to demonstrate good farming practices.
Floyd with his herd manager
He has introduced some good bulls into his herd. It is amazing to see the larger, healthier cattle that have resulted from the improved breeding.
Bill answering farmers questions, Jones is translating to our farmers' group in Dawar Village
This is Tiamoyo's bean crop
Bill was explaining how inoculating legumes with symbiotic bacteria could improve production by helping the beans produce nitrogen. This is totally unheard of in Tanzania! It has been common practice in Australia since the 60's, maybe earlier.
Our guys still have a lot to learn, but they are getting there!
Bill some significant friends in Africa who may be interested in partnering with us.
We had a great board meeting. John, on the left is new to our board. Then Polycarp, Julius and Immanuel.
Whats next ?
●Upgrading our planters with precision seed meters for Maize and Beans $AUS5,000 estimated cost
●Building a Church/School/ Tiamoyo Staff Accommodation at Dawar village $AUS3,500 estimated cost
●Getting ready for Planting next December 2019.