Progress to date
There was very poor rainfall in January and prospects were beginning to look bleak however the rains came on 4th February and have been substantial for over a week which has brought the crops on to where they should be. Dikirani has taken his first maize of the season- please see photos in `Gallery` section.
Continue to monitor rain fall and crop growth and start to plan ahead for a fruitful harvest
In excess of 300 acres of land has been reclaimed as well as land which has been used traditionally in the past which is running alongside the seed for life project using their usual seed/fertiliser. To date rains have been good and the crops are growing according to plan. (Please refer to the gallery to see recent photos). Purchased a bicycle to make travel a bit more efficient for the project co-ordinator.
Put Beneficiaries of the project through a training programme by the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture to bring them up to date with the latest farming practise . Purchase and distribute all the seed to the beneficiaries and commence planting . 79 farmers are growing Maize, 21 Farmers are growing Soya and 33 farmers are growing ground nuts a total of 133 farmers in total.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
Clear scrub land and prepare land to allow planting of seed.
A total of 126 farmers have been nominated for the 2017/2018 pilot scheme.
41 males and 85 females a total of 307 acres have been cultivated awaiting seed. This will directly affect the standard of living for 297 adults and 261 children under 16 years of age who are the direct families of the farmers nominated giving a total of 558 individuals plus the 1200 primary school children who will receive one school meal per day. £5600.00 has been transferred into the Community Bank account to cover the purchase of Maize seed, Fertiliser and Urea as well as the transport. A two day training by the Malawi Department of Agriculture has been organised for the participants of the scheme.
Below is an extract of a Parliamentary Debate which took place in the House of Commons on Wed 13th Sept 2017:
I congratulate my hon. friend on securing this debate. Will he join me in recognizing and commending the excellent work of a disproportionately large number of people in my constituency to support the people of Malawi? He has already mentioned the excellent work of Mary’s Meals, but we also have the Mid Argyll Malawi Twinning Group, the Imani Development Foundation in Oban, the Netherlorn Churches’ project “Seed for life. Feed for life”, many secondary schools such as the Rothesay Academy, Dunoon Grammar School, and the primary schools of Strone, Dalmally and Iona.
A. Have agreed to pay Project Manager at Bemvu ( Dikirani) an honorarium of MK150,000 (£160.00) after successful completion of the four stages of the project (ie approx £650 pa):
1) Work to be undertaken prior to planting
2) Planting and cultivation period
3) Harvest/ Transportation & Sale of Crop
4)Implementation of school meals
This was agreed with Bemvu Partnership Committee prior to informing Dikirani and was SFL suggestion not Bemvu. As was the supply of a reconditioned laptop which has been donated to the Partnership Committee on the understanding that SFL work takes priority.
B. Bemvu have opened a bank account in Malawi specifically for SFL to allow for easier Bank reconciliation. 3 signatories will be required:
1) The Congregational Treasurer
2) A Partnership Committee member
3) A School Management Rep.
Payment will be signed `pass for payment` by Dikirani (These are Bemvu terms and have not been implemented by SFL)
C. Site visit by Andrew N. where an agreement was reached that there would be a monthly procedure introduced to report back progress for that month and that a spreadsheet supplied by SFL would be completed on a regular basis and countersigned by Andrew N. This is to ensure a `paper trail` of events which should prove helpful in obtaining grants 2018/2019 going forward.
D. Beneficiaries have been chosen by the individual prayer house and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to confirm their own responsibilities in the project.
E. Discussed with all aspects of the Church structure in Bemvu what is expected to ensure a successful outcome.
F. Store Rooms have been inspected and deemed suitable for interim storage of seed.
G. To date 78 Farmers have signed up to Planting Maize (this is the total allocation for this crop this year).
July 2017: Achieved first year target of £10,000.00. However require to continue with fund raising as more funding will be required for the 2018/2019 growing season in order to achieve full sustainability.
June 2017: Agreement to commit to 1st year donation (Budget for 2017/2018 growing season produced and circulated to Bemvu)
May 2017: Site Survey report Commissioned to be undertaken by Professional Malawian Consultant
April 2017: Commenced Fund Raising
April 2017: Feasibility report put before Kirk Sessions (full agreement received to proceed in principal)
January 2017: Approach by Bemvu Partnership to establish a Sustainable Self Help Feed Programme
A bank account has now been opened specifically for SEED FOR LIFE. FEED FOR LIFE. details are :
Account name:- KKPC-Seed for Life. Feed for Life.
Sort Code:- 80:17:99
Account no: 10106164
Monies can be paid direct into this account through Bank Transfer or BACS or direct to Denise MacLean our treasurer who lives at Arran Cottage, Ardmaddy. Oban, PA34 4QY. It would be helpful when paying electronically if in the reference section a name can be attached to enable us to see where the money has come from. If you are eligible to gift aid the donation please request the appropriate form at the same time as we can claim another 20% for the fund at no extra expense to the donor.
July 2017 – The initial target of £10,000.00 has been raised which is a magnificent achievement in the short time we have been fund raising and we are indebted to all who have been involved with the fund raising organisation and those people who have donated, this will provide a life changing situation to the community of Bemvu.
The next planting season 2018/2019 will require an even bigger target and so it is imperative that fund raising continues at the same pace (a list of forthcoming events are listed on the events section of this web site- please continue with your support.)