Domingos Francisco, a Farmer's Club member in Caia District, sofala Province

 

FC Francisco1I remember well the day when the Farmers’ Club Project Farming Instructor first came to our village to explain about the objectives of a project that would help us in producing more crops,” recalls Domingos Francisco Jaime, a 25-year old farmer and member of the local Farmers’ Club in Phadza, Caia District. “I was working at my field and feeling worried because my last harvests have not been good and the rains were late for the planting of the new crops,” he explains.

This is when the local leader came by and asked me to join in in a meeting at his house. It sounded so interesting that I there and then left my hoe and followed him.” Soon enough, Jaime found himself as member of the local Farmers’ Club and participated in identifying a demonstration plot.

Today, there are 30 farmers in the Farmers’ Club of Phadza and the first demonstration plot has now been prepared to grow maize, sorghum, and pearl millet.

The following steps include training the farmers in new farming techniques and distributing various agricultural inputs. This is a phase Jaime is particularly looking forward to. “I grow sesame, sorghum, maize, buer beans, cowpea, butter bean, cabbage, lettuce and kale in my field but despite the diversity, all of the harvest used to go to feeding my family - there was nothing left over to be sold at the market,” he laments. “The first training in which I participated gave me ideas about how to produce more so that I can sell the extra crops at the market and finally earn some money from my products,” Jaime continues enthusiastically. “I am quite excited to see what the future will bring.”

Organizing the farmers into a Club has also improved communications with other farmers. “We learn new things, share experiences and negotiate prices together. This will help us in getting a better value of our products at the market in the future,” explains Jaime with a confident look in his eyes.