"I managed to grow five tonnes of maize, 600 kilograms of beans and three tonnes of vegetables," says a Chitanda Project participantPublished: Jul 11, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
The Chitanda Project was launched in 2020 in the Jamba and Chicomba municipalities in Huila province of Angola and has already created six field training centres that have benefited more than 210 farmers. The initiative aims to expand knowledge based on innovative farming methods, strengthen linkages between farmers and local markets and promote good nutrition practices.
Under the Chitanta Project, Farmer Field Schools are being established for farmers. In these schools, farmerscan share and exchange experiences and learn various new farming techniques that they can then apply in their fields. Farmer Field Schools also serve as a space for community development. Once farmers have been trained, they get the opportunity to apply for government support and receive bank loans to purchase agricultural tools. The goal is to increase production and promote financial security for individual families and the village as a whole.
Under the Chitanda Project, it is important to develop and implement climate resilient mechanisms that are sustainable. An important factor is that the farmers are able to pass on the techniques that they learn to other farmers in the village, thus contributing to community development.
This includes the small-scale distribution of farm implements and seeds to individual Farmer Field Schools and to the farmers themselves, which are used during the training sessions where farmers are taught techniques to increase productivity. During the trainings, farmers also learn new techniques for preparing land for sowing and improving soil quality, as well as identifying pests and controlling them.
"We are very grateful for this project and wish it had a longer duration. It has helped us a lot to have a better harvest. Specifically, I grew five tons of maize, 600 kilograms of beans and three tons of vegetables (cabbage, onions and tomatoes), which I sold at the village market and bought three cattle with the money I made," says Andrade Vasco, who attended the training in Capengo village.
The project also includes an awareness campaign about good nutrition, with the aim of reducing malnutrition rates in communities due to a lack of knowledge about a good mix of local foods.
"During the lectures we were taught good nutrition practices, which include: preparing food properly to avoid diseases caused by poor hygiene and combining foods to make a balanced diet. We also talked about the importance of personal hygiene and cleanliness of the environment," Andrade Vasco adds.
Lastly, the project focuses on the possibility of selling vegetables at markets, with our team contacting buyers, transporters and organisers to get the produce grown and sell on the markets.
This project was implemented by People in Need (PIN) in collaboration with Action for Solidarity and Development (ASD), under the auspices of Instituto Camões (IP) through the Fresan programme, with financial support from the European Union (EU) and co-financing from the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pretoria.