How the ZYCALA project in Zambia has helped Brian to provide for him and his family
In times of climate change and erratic rainfall, ZYCALA aims to improve the livelihoods of people and ensure food security through organic agriculture. In essence, many youths have been empowered through training in sustainable organic agriculture practices and this has positioned them to have both access to the food they produce through the project and ways to utilise it.
Many farmers in Zambia often experience poor planting and harvest seasons. In the recent past, we have experienced a total rainfall of 310ml which is only 50% of the average, with only a few days where rain fell and a high percentage of these days below normal. Fortunately, this has not been the case for most of the youths in the project. Despite terrible rainy seasons, the youths have managed to grow and harvest enough crops for home consumption.
Brian Mwelwa, a ZYCALA youth, says he has gained important skills through the trainings in organic sustainable agriculture. He says before ZYCALA started, there was never enough food and children were often at risk of malnutrition and other diseases. The inability to afford fertiliser had often meant hunger for him and his family. But now, through the project, Brian is able to farm organically, have a variety of food in his home for consumption and also earn extra income.
Having heard about organic farming in 2017, Brian attended and participated in trainings, listened carefully to the lessons and began to have a serious interest in organic farming. He has since thrived in farming onions and other crops and has been able to put his children in school. This year Brian plans to harvest 60 bags of onions with a target of 10,000 annual Income.