About The Location & History
Niger, situated in Central Africa, has a rich history and unique geographical features. The nation’s landscape is divided into two central regions – the Sahara Desert and Sahel Valley.
Niger’s population of approximately 25 million people primarily resides in the Sahel region. However, food security has been a persistent challenge due to the scarcity of water and nutrition in the sandy soils of the Maradi region, located 650 kilometres east of the capital city of Niamey.
Who Are We Partnering With?
Ron Gerwing, a dedicated farmer from Canada with a strong farming heritage, is leading this initiative. Farming runs deep in Ron’s blood; his father was a farmer, as was his father before him. This rich farming heritage and passion drive Ron’s commitment to improving food security in Niger. He aims to work with more than 30,000 local farmers in the Maradi region of Niger to address the food security challenges. The arable land in the area is more than 100,000 hectares.
The project aims to introduce innovative farming techniques and sustainable practices. Ron hopes to leverage research from US Aid and the University of Arizona (2022) to tap into Niger’s significant groundwater reserves for irrigation and enhanced food production.
What Is The Initiative?
Our initiative aims to revolutionize agriculture in Niger, especially in the Maradi region, by implementing three key strategies:
- Irrigation: Leveraging Niger’s abundant groundwater resources, we want to introduce irrigation systems (plastic irrigation tubing) to enable farmers to cultivate two crops yearly, doubling their food production.
- Improved Farming Techniques: Extensive research and testing have shown that adding humic acid during seeding and essential micro-nutrients can significantly enhance soil fertility. This allows for planting rows closer together, effectively doubling production. Ron hopes to start implementing the Foundations For Farming training this year, which will train the farmers to produce 8x more than they currently produce.
- Sustainability: Ensuring the long-term success of this initiative is vital. We are actively addressing sustainability by:
- Encouraging farmers to invest some of their increased profits into purchasing irrigation equipment.
- Collaborating with US Aid to facilitate well drilling and capping for solar-powered pumps, although this remains a financial challenge for many farmers.
- Exploring cost-effective organic fertilizers and soil amendments to replace petrochemical fertilizers.
Impact with a Purpose
Our mission goes beyond just enhancing food security; it’s also about promoting positive change within the local communities and spreading a message of compassion and goodwill. In Niger, we face distinct challenges when it comes to outreach. Nevertheless, our goal is to demonstrate our values through our actions and build connections based on mutual understanding and trust.
Around 10% of the population in the Maradi region identifies as Christian, and there are many others who are open to exploring spirituality. We believe that through our sustainable farming projects and personal connections, we can make a positive impact on their lives, showing them the principles of compassion and kindness that are at the heart of our mission.
Funding for this project is made possible through generous donors like you. Your contributions will help:
- Provide water wells and solar-driven pumps for farmers in need.
- Purchase essential irrigation equipment.
- Support the founder’s travel and lodging expenses.
If you feel led to support this ministry financially, we encourage you to answer that calling. If you are unable to contribute financially, we ask for your prayers, as they are equally valuable in ensuring the success of this vital mission.
Together, we can empower the people of Niger, spread ‘The Good News,’ and work towards a future where food security is a reality for all.
Nagode (Thank you) in the Hausa language.