Vegetable gardener Mark Marabeye is growing more food with Tearfund partner help. Photo: Liu Liu/Tearfund
18 June 2012
The arid land of West Africa’s Sahel region makes farming a massive challenge but one that Tearfund partners are addressing.
In the village of N’Gara in Chad, vegetable gardener Mark Marabeye has a plot measuring 65 metres by 45 metres, located next to a river, where he grows tomatoes, peppers and okra.
The river plays a vital role in the success of Mark’s crops. When it floods, it leaves nutrients that boost his soil and therefore his crops. Last year he made 866,000 CFA (£1,000) which:
- paid for his four children to go to school
- enabled him to buy fuel to run his irrigation pump for the gardens
- meant he could buy a cow and eight goats
But as with many areas of the Sahel, climate change is making its mark in N’Gara and during the past five years there have only been three floods and in those years, Mark’s vegetable production has been badly affected as the soil has been deprived of the necessary nutrients.
Tearfund partner PCAR has helped Mark by training him on how to produce organic compost using cow and goat waste, which means that he doesn’t have to rely on the river flooding to have good quality soil.
PCAR also trained him to produce organic pesticide and has encouraged him to grow fruit trees along the fields to secure the soil.