Saturday, October 14, 2017

FULANI FRUIT EXCHANGE

Ngambo is a Fulani refugee from CAR that fled into Cameroon not recently, but over 10 years ago (he fled from armed bandits). He learned from one of our agroforestry seminars back then as to how to raise fruit trees and vegetables. Once a cattle herder, he is now an avid gardener and part of the co-op network in the town of Kentzou just across the border from us. I have not seen his garden in years, so as we were visiting other gardens, we went by his and he asked me if I could identify one of CEFA's fruit trees he planted that is now fruiting. I said it was a rollinia and is ripe when it turns soft and yellow. He asked me how to eat it and I said when ripe, just split it open and eat all the delicious sweet and soft flesh. I then turned to him and asked him what fruit he was growing in his garden (it looked like some form of eggplant) and he told me the name (nzonzo) and I asked him how to eat it and he said go ahead and take a bite! Wow, I thought what a great exchange of fruit knowledge where we both have added a new type of nutritious food to our diets! Ngambo believes in what he is doing and has created a model agroforestry garden with fruit trees, vegetables, starchy roots, and other staples like corn – all intermixed and composted in one plot – which is what CEFA calls a tree garden. We are now using Ngambo as the expert example for the other co-ops as to not only how a tree garden is done, but also how one can truly put one's heart into it and succeed – for over ten years now!

--   Roy & Aleta Danforth  Covenant missionaries to the Central African Republic  cell phones: Aleta 011 237 67529 5071 or 011 236 7744 8621   Roy 011 237 66171 7808 or 011 236 7754 9176  email: roy-aleta.danforth@covchurch.org  blog Personal:  http://blogs.covchurch.org/danforth/  blog CEFA: http://car-cefa.blogspot.com/

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ANOTHER TRANSFORMATION TREASURE

This past week I was able to visit some of the refugee gardens in Kentzou, the town just across the border into neighboring Cameroon where Pastor Boniface has been organizing agroforestry co-ops – WHERE over 20 of them attended the 3-day seminar in April at the CEFA center. I checked out a few gardens and I was very impressed with a couple of them because they had planted their cowpeas we had distributed to them not only in rows, but they composted each row as well! This is truly an amazing testimony to transforming from the old ways of slash and burn agriculture to one of conservation agriculture – a rare thing to see, but hopefully a significant breakthrough! Not only do the people believe in the importance of raising high protein beans, but they also want high yields, putting to practice new methods that CEFA has demonstrated at their model farm in CAR. Meawhile, on the very same day, same hour I was visiting these refugee gardens, the UNHCR was distributing food in a giveaway frenzie after almost 4 years since the refugees from CAR were displaced. To the contrary, the people whose gardens I visited were not interested in getting free food as they put more value on raising it themselves, with CEFA's help!

--   Roy & Aleta Danforth  Covenant missionaries to the Central African Republic  cell phones: Aleta 011 237 67529 5071 or 011 236 7744 8621   Roy 011 237 66171 7808 or 011 236 7754 9176  email: roy-aleta.danforth@covchurch.org  blog Personal:  http://blogs.covchurch.org/danforth/  blog CEFA: http://car-cefa.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

CEFA USA VISITS CEFA CAR

Yes, there is a registered CEFA NGO (501C3) in the United States (Illinois) where funds are channeled and an actual Board of Directors that meets once a year to help CEFA in CAR get support. One of the Board members, Dave Feaver from Modesto, CA volunteered to come and visit CEFA in CAR for two and a half weeks until the end of September. Already, he has had the grand tour of the CEFA central farm, seen a village co-operative garden, and he has lent a hand fixing things up around the house and farm. This week, we took him to the same Nyabi co-operatives that I reported about last time and he was able to meet the head organizer of all the co-ops, Bernard, meet the chief of the village, and visit his cola nut orchard that he has composted and allowed a cover crop to take over (pictured above). We also had the opportunity to help the now 14 co-operatives with seeds to plant (fruit trees, beans, and corn) and tools to work with (hoes, shovels, machetes) via Covenant Church assistance projects. Dave has seen and heard a lot already and has a many good stories to tell when he returns to the US early October. Thanks Dave (and his wife Irene for allowing him to come) for sacrificing to come here and share your heart and resources in helping Central Africans reach food security and experience Christ's love.
--   Roy & Aleta Danforth  Covenant missionaries to the Central African Republic  cell phones: Aleta 011 237 67529 5071 or 011 236 7744 8621   Roy 011 237 66171 7808 or 011 236 7754 9176  email: roy-aleta.danforth@covchurch.org  blog Personal:  http://blogs.covchurch.org/danforth/  blog CEFA: http://car-cefa.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

ROY VISITS NYABI CAMEROON CO-OPS

This week, I had the privilege of travelling into Cameroon to visit several of the ag co-ops that attended the agroforestry seminar here at the CEFA farm 3 months ago in April. There are over 50 ag co-ops in Cameroon alone as the interest is very high for learning as much as they can about agricultural improvements to help with not just food security, but also to improve their livelihoods. The village of Nyabi is where Bernard Bekosso and his family fled to along with their Fulani friends from CAR back in 2014, to escape death and destruction. Now, all these refugees are participating in 12 co-ops that Bernard has help to create. Even though I was only with Bernard and his co-ops a total of 24 hours, I witnessed many amazing results that the seminar participants did after they returned from their learning experience at the CEFA farm. So, for the next few weeks, the CEFA blog will put out a few of those stories that will warm your heart like it did mine! There is hope for Central Africans, especially refugees! (photos above: Nyabi Fulani women's ag co-op and one of the co-op's seminar participants with his certificate)

--   Roy & Aleta Danforth  Covenant missionaries to the Central African Republic  cell phones: Aleta 011 237 67529 5071 or 011 236 7744 8621   Roy 011 237 66171 7808 or 011 236 7754 9176  email: roy-aleta.danforth@covchurch.org  blog Personal:  http://blogs.covchurch.org/danforth/  blog CEFA: http://car-cefa.blogspot.com/

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

COVER CROP SEMINAR on the Farm

On Saturday, July 22nd,  representatives from 15 of CEFA's co-ops joined in on an all-morning seminar that dealt specifically with the importance of establishing a cover crop over soil that has been used by crops. Soil improvement is key to sustainable agriculture so 3 different forms of plant cover were discussed  – vines, shrubs, and trees - during the first hour. For the next couple of hours, a tour of CEFA's fields and orchards revealed several different methods of planting the cover crops, either in between the rows of trees or scattered throughout the field as a form of fallow. What was amazing was that several had said they were already practicing composting after they had learned about it from another mini-seminar a few months back. So, putting cover-cropping to use is another form of conservation agriculture they were unfamiliar with and were eager to learn about. This teaching session was good timing because they had just established their fruit tree and oil palm orchards and now was the time in the growing season to get cover crops like kudzu and perennial peanut planted and growing.

--   Roy & Aleta Danforth  Covenant missionaries to the Central African Republic  cell phones: Aleta 011 237 67529 5071 or 011 236 7744 8621   Roy 011 237 66171 7808 or 011 236 7754 9176  email: roy-aleta.danforth@covchurch.org  blog Personal:  http://blogs.covchurch.org/danforth/  blog CEFA: http://car-cefa.blogspot.com/

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