22 May 2015 // Articles & Stories

Lesotho – Growing Nations update

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Working on an agricultural project in Lesotho is hardly where you would expect to find a photographer and an accountant, but this is where the Lord called Barry & Heather Mann to serve.

Growing Nations

We have been with AIM since 2012 and are working in partnership with Growing Nations in Lesotho, having been supporters of their work, and that of August & Anita Basson, since 2005. Heather is the CEO of Growing Nations, responsible for the overall running and strategy of the project whilst Barry is the communications and media specialist. Both of our roles are primarily focused on the mentoring and equipping of the Basotho staff at Growing Nations, including spiritual leadership and understanding, to empower them to run Growing Nations without outside help.

In addition to this Barry took over the Lesotho Unit Leader role in February, whilst Heather takes care of all the unit’s finance and administration.

lesothoBrothersJune2015

Palamang & Phethisang Ranku

Four years ago, Palamang & Phethisang Ranku, brothers from the village of Ha Lelinyane, were taught about Farming God’s Way by the Growing Nations extension team. Following the training, they implemented what they learnt and have continued to learn from follow up visits.

They now work together with other farmers supporting each other and are proud of the yields that they are getting which equate to 2.2 & 3.7 tons/hectare respectively, significantly above the average maize yield in Lesotho of 0.5-0.8 t/ha.

Members of the community who commented that they were making work for themselves when they started with conservation agriculture (CA) have now seen the results and are coming to learn from them.

It is wonderful to see the community not only getting higher yields and having improved food security, but they are also giving the glory to God for the transformation that has taken place in their lives and are passing it on to others.

Underpinned by biblical principles

Growing Nations is teaching Farming God’s Way (Conservation Agriculture-CA) to farmers in Lesotho and in other African countries. Farming God’s Way not only teaches CA farming methods but more importantly is underpinned by key Biblical principles which bring spiritual transformation. The project works amongst pastors, evangelists, farmers and runs a two year resident student programme training up to 12 students each year. In addition a considerable effort goes into research and development work to establish best practices.

It is amazing to see the impact that the work of Growing Nations has had amongst individuals and whole communities. It is often a slow process getting people to adopt CA due to perceptions of increased time and effort needed. The results of a few are starting to influence those around them and gradually people change their mindsets and adopt CA practices.

Reaching the unreached

There are so many stories to tell about transformed lives in Lesotho through the work of Growing Nations, but AIM has started looking beyond the reached within Lesotho to establish whether Farming God’s Way can be used to reach the many Unreached People Groups (UPGs) across Africa who are dependent on subsistence agriculture. ‘Farming Quest’, an annual three week course, is designed to train missionaries in the principles of Farming God’s Way, allowing them to teach others in their own ministry areas. Beyond that AIM & Growing Nations are working on a vision and strategy that could see teams being trained in Farming God’s Way and church planting before being sent out to live & work alongside UPGs with the aim of bringing the gospel to them through agriculture.

Growing Nations film

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Barry & Heather Mann

Barry & Heather work with Growing Nations in Maphutseng, Lesotho. Heather is the CEO and Barry works in Communications and they are Unit Leaders for Lesotho.

Find out more…