Saturday, December 11, 2010

CEFA's new Director - Benoit Zangao!

At CEFA's first official Board meeting November 18-19, Benoit Zangao was elected Director of CEFA's operations. We are grateful that Benoit accepted this post, knowing he will face many challenges and difficulties, but he knows he will always have my right-hand support, is backed by the CEFA Board, and that his God will give him the strength and wisdom needed to carry out this huge repsonsibility. My (Roy) official title is technical advisor to CEFA. Remember to pray for Benoit - especially during the time I will be gone to the US for my year home assignment of speaking in churches from May '11 to May '12. Hopefully, some day, some of you will have the chance to meet this fine man of God whose heart is focussed on serving Him by serving others through CEFA's agricultural development programs.
CEFA officially had its first Board meeing - as you can see seven out of nine attended on November 18-19. After visiting the CEFA ag center and the model farm, CEFA Board members Baba Zokoe, Bertrand Ngama, Paul Noren (top row): Roy Danforth, Josephine Messako, Benoit Zangao, and Clarisse Nguebe all met to hear progress reports on the year's activities. Later, discussions ensued on the ministry plans for 2011 including work on CEFA's fish ponds, starting up a layer chicken program, and beginning CEFA's outreach to 5 selected villages for training in
cooperative development. CEFA, though now is established as an official NGO, is still waiting for the land papers for the 1000 acres gifted by the national and local governments.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Paul Noren Visits Gamboula

Missionary Paul Noren, long-time colleague of Roy's and board member of CEFA, has come for a 2-month visit to help CEFA with technical advice. In addition, he and Roy have been working long hours to wrap up the two agriculture books they have been putting together since 2001. They have finished the fruit book and are currently working on the Agroforestry manual. Hopefully, both books will be published in 2011.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A sentry at CEFA at night!

Now that there are crops and buildings out at CEFA, we have a sentry out there at night. His name is Nuuhu and he is an avid Fulani farmer that we have known for years.

Here is the house that is being built for him.

Damage by one thing or another!

It might be cane rats (which, by the way, are pretty good eating themselves)
or it might be lightning damage, farmers always have to keep on the watch! This tree was struck by lightning, apparently on the trunk and down the roots so that the dirt was thrown off some of them.

Spread the fruit around - happy eaters!

Here are the guys across the border at a weekly meeting, enjoying the fruits of the ag project's labor! Yum! Jakfruit! The flesh is delicious and the seeds, when cooked are protein filled and taste a bit like peanuts.

Building the roof on the garage

The garage out at CEFA is made up of 3 ocean freight containers, and this past week, with the help of Kim Cone (red tshirt in the photo) the rafters have gone up. Next week the roofing will go on, and then they will pour a cement floor.

It took alot of manpower to get the beams and rafters up!

Here's Roy, with a hammer in his hand instead of a shovel!

Monday, September 27, 2010


After 4 months of garden preparations and planting trees, the last tree was planted this month. A total of 30 hectares(or 75 acres) of 4,750 trees in various tree types, were planted. These included oil palm, coconut palm, malaysian trees, our top 100 fruit/nut/spice trees, breadfruit trees, neem trees, grafted trees, banana trees, forest fruit trees, cola nut trees, and others. Getting these trees into the ground in time to establish themselves before the dry season arrived involved a huge effort on the part of the work teams from the community. These trees will provide the base for testing out new varieties of useful trees for small farmers out in their village gardens.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Roy and the guys - busy beavers!

Planting out trials of better varieties of manioc/cassava

Tree planting, in rows in the orchards

Roy and his teams of temporary workers have cleared, plotted out, and planted 75 acres of trees and experimental crops. All this, so fast, in order to get things established before the rainy season gets too far along. Rainy season here is usually April through mid-November.

The farmer and the cowhand should be friends!?

Uh-oh, a neighbor's cattle have meandered into the newly cleared and planted CEFA land. Negotiations for the shepherd to keep better watch are in order!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Fastest to Die - By Patrick Vinck and Phuong Pham | Foreign Policy

Follow this link to read a new report out on the impact of the chronic insecurity and under-development in CAR. CEFA is earnestly working to help Central Africans in the South West overcome the challenges described in this article. Please read!

The Fastest to Die - By Patrick Vinck and Phuong Pham | Foreign Policy: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Friday, July 16, 2010

New strain of amaranth

While Angela was here in the spring, she brought us a new variety of amaranth, being used in East Africa as a protein supplement. The seeds are tiny, but pack a punch of protein. They can be ground up into meal and added to just about any prepared dish, or they can be popped, not unlike teeny tiny popcorn, and sprinkled over food. The leaves are also eaten, much like spinach. Here's the amaranth, in the foreground of the photo, growing wonderfully huge in the nutrition garden at the hospital. It looks like Hortense, Nadege, and two moms from the kids' nutrition center are happy with the garden.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clearing land and planting palm trees

Roy continues to use large work crews to clear the land for orchards and crop trials. In this photo, a crew is harvesting the manioc from the land purchased from a farmer. Note: this farmer planted his manioc AFTER he knew that the land was being purchased, just so people don't get the idea that we are kicking farmers off their land.

After days of tedious plotting of tree placement, the trees are being planted.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why fruit trees?

Follow this link to an interesting article about how fruit trees are improving lives in a region in India.  Families plant a minimum of ten fruit trees every time a girl child is born. Find out why by clicking below:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Planting manioc

10 a.m. break is devotions, announcements, and a short ag/development lesson along with the coffee and doughnuts.

We've just planted a good strain of manioc for multiplication. Here you see them preparing the sticks and then planting them, at the correct slant, at the correct distance for optimum growth.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Trees planted

Rows of trees and happy planters, Simon Dagson and Roy! 91 coconuts and 325 oil palms, a special breed eventually for village distribution, with much more oil and meat to the fruit.

Planting trees!

Here's a truck full of trees to be planted

Planting on CEFA land

Here's Simon in the foreground with a helper way in the background, marking where to plant trees in rows so that they are properly spaced for optimum growth.

CEFA's buffer zone park

Here are some steps leading up to a quiet place, which will have a bench of some sort soon, to think and pray, and then here are the peanuts you saw a couple of weeks ago being planted! The rains are falling and food is growing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lots of work going on at CEFA!

These men are squaring off these rocks for use in the foundations of buildings. On the first day of work, a couple of them had saran wrap in front of their eyes, wrapped around their heads for protection against chips flying. Sorry we didn't get a photo of that! Roy provided goggles and gloves after that!
These men are planting a type of squash that yields high protein seeds to eat. In front of them you can see the sisal and then little clumps of vetiver grass which will grow up to make a live fence line.

These men are clearing land for planting -the goal to be cleared is about 50 acres. This land will be the new home for oil palm, coconuts, and new varieties of beans and casava.

These men are clearing a road into the new land, for access to the gardens and building site.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Containers for a garage/work area

There has been some clearing of the land and now 2 containers have been dropped off there, because the mission hospital just received these two containers full of hospital supplies and CEFA bought the empty containers in order to build a garage work area. There will be a roof over the two of them with probably a cement floor between them for the working space. There as yet has been no planting on the land, as we do not yet have the final deed/permission documents in hand. The planting has only taken place in the public park area before the entrance to the project.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Maryam shares because of what she's received!

This is Maryam, an amazing woman of newfound faith in the Lord. She came to the Gamboula hospital last year, seeking treatment for her baby, Happiness, on her back in the photo. Not only was Happiness' life saved at the hospital, but Maryam found new life herself, spiritually, because of the kindness and sharing of some of the nurses and others and with the influence of hearing new testament recordings there. She returned to her home across the border, and while there, read a book about a Congolese man, called Samson, a man who took great steps in giving to others because of what he had received. Maryam was so touched by this story that she decided to do likewise. She came back to Gamboula, and contributed time and money in the hospital's nutrition garden. The photo shows her at work in the nutrition garden. This garden is an integral part of teaching and outreach in the CEFA project.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Planting trees in the buffer zone public park

Roy and crew took a big truckload of trees out to the CEFA land to plant, as rainy season has finally started. They planted and watered (just in case it didn't rain that day) over 250 trees in the area in front of the entrance to the CEFA property. They took a big tank of water on the back of the ag pick-up for the watering, as the stream is quite some distance away. The fruit on these trees will be available for free to the public, hopefully filling the tummies of those kids and people who are interested in reaping without sowing, smile.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Live CEFA logo

While Angela Boss was here with us, she took some photos to represent the CEFA logo, live. Which of these three do you like best?

CEFA meeting

Well, it wasn't an official board meeting, as there wasn't a 2/3 presence of members, due to some other very important work our acting president, David Zokoe, had to take care of in the capital. A strategy session and general discussion took place, a full day of talking about the visions and plans for CEFA. The wonderful news, though, is this: the official NGO papers AND the land grant papers are in David Zokoe's hands, with only the customs/tax exemption papers left to be arranged. We are so thankful!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update on the work at the CEFA land

There is now a small cement pieced bridge over the roadside ditch at the turn off to the land, and ditches have been dug for putting in the fence at the entrance to the property. The official NGO papers are in the hands of our acting board president, David Zokoe, in Bangui, and he is still following up on getting the land deed transaction established. The land papers must be in hand before we can actually begin work building and planting.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bird's eye view of the CEFA land

The yellow border on the left is Cameroon. The brownish areas are grasses and brushland and old gardens, and the green indicates trees and heavier growth. The CEFA land has a mostly natural boundary of trees/jungle. The red lines are old off the beaten track roads, and the thicker light yellow lines between Gamboula and the mission station and beyond are the main roads. The road that Roy and his crews have been clearing is the lower red line that juts off the main road just north of the mission station where we currently live. You can see a gap in the tree line where the red lines meet together at the property boundary. That's where Roy is planning to put in a public orchard/park, to act as a buffer, so people can pick fruit freely without climbing the fence (that will be put in soon) and stealing what is not theirs.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The model farm

We have chosen a manager for the model farm that is being established down the road from the CEFA land. His name is Desiré, and boy does he have a green thumb. He has been growing and selling veggies for years, most recently here in our region. He will take care of the regular crops, such as peanuts, corn, and manioc (possibly new strains) as well as raising all sorts of vegetables. He will manage the fish ponds, which are under reconstruction right now. We are hoping to purchase a pair of oxen for pulling a plow, and there will be fruit trees on the farm as well. All this is in hopes of encouraging the locals to do the same, to provide a "do-able" example that anyone might follow in order to better feed and take care of their family.

Here is Desiré in the vegetable garden:
Here are the fish ponds being worked on:

The road is finished!

The road is completed, the road crews have been paid, and access to the CEFA land is now a straight shot without worrying about damaging your vehicle. The ditch for putting up the fence is being worked on, and the buffer zone of public orchard and park are mapped out along the whole front access of the land and now need to be cleared. The completion of the paperwork for the official NGO documents in the capital city is still in process. We have to jump through a few more hoops, it seems, but we have hopes that it will soon be done.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Progress with the CEFA land

The work on the road is going well. The five kilometer stretch of road from the main road to the CEFA property has almost been completed by groups of about 10 people each to clear 500 meter stretches. Hopefully it will be complete by the end of the week. Well, all except for the creation of ditches along the sides of the road to catch the runoff when the rains start. The ground is too hard right now in some places to make these rain gutters. The dry season is almost at an end, we usually have some rains beginning in mid-March.

Roy and others have found the corner boundary markers with the help of compass and GPS, hacking through the brush with a machete. They also placed flag markers along the boundaries.