Water for Good drills and maintains water wells in the Central African Republic. So, why do we want to invest in agricultural programs?
Access to clean water prevents water-borne illnesses, but that progress can only be sustained if communities also have access to enough nutritious food. Agriculture is the key to better health, more productive lives, and long-term sources of income!
to Eradicate hunger and malnutrition in Central Africa.
Many people in the Central African Republic don’t have enough food. Yet, this country has great land and many capable farmers.
When you depend on the food you grow
to feed your family, you just cannot afford to fail.
Family farmers in Central Africa cannot afford to spend money growing new crops or changing their practices, even if the potential health benefits are very great. So, Water for Good takes on the risk for the farmers. We want to help the CAR become the “bread basket of Africa.”
It is our mission to help local farmers, especially women farmers, grow enough nutritious food and improve their soil for lasting impact.
1. Grow diverse and nutritious foods.
Ever heard of sorghum? Spirulina? Improving nutrition requires
growing a diversity of crops, like these various grains.
2. Manage natural resources.
Keeping the soil fertile, year-after-year and managing a stock of
reliable seeds and plants are vital parts of a healthy farm.
3. Market their crops
Getting the product to market in a reliable and cost-effective manner
is almost as important as growing the product in the first place!
The Water for Good agriculture program carries out research at its two Agricultural Resources and Research Centers (ARRC). We like to call them “Mother ARRC” (22 kilometers from the capital city of Bangui) and “Mini ARRC” (in Berberati), where we have test fields and training centers. These sites are the heart of our operations and a huge resource. We only promote crops and practices after we test them under local growing conditions at the ARRCs!
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CORE PROJECTS
1. Water for Good SEED BANK
|Accomplishments: Water for Good Distributed 18 tons of improved seeds, including soybeans, corn, and red beans, black-eyed beans, and peanut to about 5,000 Central African farmers.|
|Accomplishments: Water for Good has distributed over 15,000 seedlings, including multiplied banana and grafted fruit trees.|
4. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
|Accomplishments: In total, 22 small farm animals were distributed including 6 goats, 14 chickens and 2 pigs to 8 households.|
5. RESEARCH, TRAINING, AND FARMER SUPPORT
|Farmer Collaboration: farmers are encouraged to discuss the problems they encounter in their fields with Water for Good ag personnel. Such issues become the focus of more research to find locally applicable solutions.
Water for Good Training: Water for Good agricultural extension agents (animators) travel to visit farmers in their own fields to answer their questions, offer them advice, and hold series of hand-on demonstration on best cropping practices.
INTEGRATING WATER AND AGRICULTURE!
What do agriculture and water well maintenance have in common? In the coming years we look forward to expanding agricultural programs to help communities raise funds for their maintenance fees. These fees keep the clean water flowing. The key to making a lasting impact is to find ways to make our programs financially sustainable.
Learn more about the Water for Good maintenance program here
Agriculture is the main income-generating activity in this region (an overwhelming percentage of the population are farmers). Water for Good will help farmers grow more and sell more of their crops, creating more income to help pay the well maintenance fees.
1. GROWING MODEL FARMERS
Water for Good brings members of village cooperatives to the ARRC and offers them specific training. These leaders are the Village Agricultural Technicians (VAT). They represent Water for Good’s technical, long-term connection to the respective communities. The VATs can stay engaged and advise other farmers in their communities based on the training they received from Water for Good.
2. SUPPORTING WOMEN FARMERS
Water for Good helps support women farmers, by providing focused training on agriculture as small business.
3. APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY
In 2011 Water for Good launched a pilot project to equip farmers’ coops with a set of field plowing oxen and accessories. The animal-based tillage technology is a laborsaving and appropriate technology that will facilitate the ability of farmers to increase the amount of land they can plow and thus reap more harvest. In total 6 oxen were purchased and donated to 3 farmers’ coops (2 oxen per coop). Estimated number of beneficiaries is 60 farmers.
4. IMPROVING NUTRITION FOR