Program Manager DR Congo
Project Number: 197.1813
The project promotes the holistic and sustainable development of agriculture and creates the conditions for sufficient and balanced nutrition. Strategically, it is closely aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 2. The central themes of the project include the promotion of agro-ecological practices, the production of local seeds and income-generating measures such as cattle breeding or the creation of fish ponds. Food production is exclusively on a small scale and is mainly carried out by women. The project therefore places a special focus on the empowerment of women smallholder farmers.
The province of Kwango, where the focus of the agricultural project is located, is one of the 26 provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and covers an area about twice the size of Switzerland. It is located one to two days' drive from the capital, Kinshasa. The population here is largely self-sufficient. The basic infrastructure is not guaranteed by the state; the project region has neither tarred roads nor electricity or water supply. The province of Kwango is characterized by self-sufficient agriculture, from which over 90 percent of the population live. The main crops are cassava, peanuts and soybeans. The lack of seeds, suitable tools and fertilizers, difficult access to land and the small size of plots mean that agricultural production remains low in terms of quantity and diversity.
Smallholders can improve their food situation thanks to sustainable agriculture. Through targeted training and education, they are informed about how to obtain the best seeds, which harvesting methods lead to high yields, which are the methods for sustainable agriculture, and finally how to promote income. The local population is also sensitized and informed about good nutritional practices through radio broadcasts and community visits.
The project's beneficiaries include smallholder families in the Kasongo-Lunda district of Kwango province. Also near Kinshasa is one of the six sites where activities are developed and supported. The agriculture project focuses on empowering women farmers because they are traditionally the custodians of food and bear the main responsibility in the production of food.
Improving the food situation through agroecological agriculture:
In 2022, mushroom cultivation could be started in Kasongo Lunda. Already after a short time a large harvest was achieved. The mushrooms are distributed and sold to the local population in order to generate income for the project. In addition, mushroom cultivation is being trained in other communities in the Kwango and buildings are being planned. The chicken house for breeding was completed in 2022 and should be operational from 2023. Livestock breeding in Kazembe has been successfully multiplied. The animals are sold to generate own funds for the project.
Radio emissions on balanced nutrition or, for example, on obtaining seeds, such as corn or amaranth, have been carried out at regular intervals since 2022 until today. The project manager reports on sustainable agriculture during the radio broadcasts, and listeners can contact him directly via telephone to ask questions.
The sensitization of the population is carried out by local representatives in many parts of the project region Kwango, whereby the animators go to the communities and inform.
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