Beneficiaries of the agricultural support projects in Dibaya, DRC, September 2022 | © V. Nikolic / HI
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the determination of Muamba Nkinda Jean Pierre and the support of HI are the perfect combination for this community facing a food crisis.
Jean-Pierre Muamba Nkinda , 65, is a farmer from Dibaya, in the Kasai province of the DRC. He is the father of nine children and he has always worked hard to meet the needs of his family. However, due to a lack of knowledge and resources his agricultural output was not sufficient and, as a consequence, his children were affected by malnutrition.
This is where HI stepped in to help Jean-Pierre. Thanks to the training and support provided by the organisation, Jean Pierre was introduced to appropriate farming methods, such as techniques for sowing seeds and using natural fertilisers to increase his yields.
The new techniques he learned have transformed his life and that of his family. With his training and newly acquired knowledge, he now has no difficulty feeding his family and his children's health has improved considerably. By increasing his production and selling his crops, he is now able to pay for his children's health and school fees.
Inspired by Jean-Pierre’s success, one of his sons has now decided to study agriculture.
"I usedto waste so many seeds, just throwing them into the ground. But now I know how to sow seeds properly and take care of the soil so that each seed has a chance to grow," says Jean Pierre, proudly.
Jean Pierre decided to use his newly acquired agricultural skills to help others experiencing difficulties. So he trained to become an agricultural trainer. He can now teach good farming techniques to other members of the community. As a result, Jean Pierre has become a respected figure in the community, known for his expertise in agriculture and for sharing his knowledge with others.
The training delivered with the support of HI in which Jean Pierre participated as a trainer, has had a noticeable effect on the village. Families have been able to reduce food shortages and enrol their children in school.
"I have trained 132 people in the village and it brings me so much joy to see the change in their lives. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I have had a positive impact on their lives and that they are now able to feed their families and send their children to school," explains Jean Pierre.
HI has strengthened food security in the territory through an agricultural support project that reached 4,750 households. The project was supported by the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) for the period November 2021 to February 2023.
HI supported households with vegetable production during the January to July agricultural season and with rainfed crops during the August to December agricultural season. More than 230 kg of vegetable seeds, 118,000 tonnes of rainfed seeds and 28,500 agricultural tools were distributed.
With the collaboration of the Inspection Provinciale de l'Agriculture (IPA), HI also organised seven training sessions on good farming techniques. 68 farmers, including 13 women, attended these sessions and will now pass on and oversee the application of the cultivation techniques they learned.
HI has seen an improvement in food stocks for some of the project's beneficiaries from 1.5 months of food needs coverage at the beginning of the project to 6 months of food needs coverage at the end of the project. With the project's support, beneficiary households have increased the surface area of the market garden from 804 m² to 1,700 m².
Finally, as part of this project, HIprovided training in agroecology, including pest control and soil fertility. The objective of the training was to train farmers in the use of organic treatments, using recipes based on local products.
GREEN project: HI is committed to reducing the adverse effects of climate change on the world's vulnerable and marginalised populations. Our organisation prepares communities to cope with climate shocks and stresses and responds to crises amplified by environmental factors. HI takes vulnerability or exclusion factors related to disability, gender and age into account in all its actions, and lobbies for practitioners and politicians to also integrate this approach into their climate work. HI is also committed to reducing its own carbon footprint by adapting and implementing environmentally friendly approaches to its humanitarian action.