MAGIS supports farmers in Chad
MAGIS Foundation continues its commitment beside Chadian farmers. From January to April, the foundation financed in-depth training in new agricultural techniques and in protection of the soils affected by the scorching heat and the shortage of water, organized in the Diocese of Mongo.
Chad is located in the Sahelian belt. Agriculture is therefore conditioned by the strong heat, the lack of water and the intense precipitations that cannot irrigate the soils. For years the Jesuits, and MAGIS at their side, have been engaged in projects designed to improve agricultural techniques, control cereal prices, safeguard biodiversity, create wells and gardens that guarantee a variety of vegetables for the daily diet.
The courses organized this year are part of this action and have been a great success. The 36 sessions were attended by a thousand farmers (including one hundred women). “I was lucky to participate in these courses – says Serge Semur, a Jesuit who works in Mongo -. It would be interesting to expand the number of farmers who can participate, but we do not have the facilities and funds to organize such a large training plan. But we intend to set up another 80 study sessions from January to April 2019.” A way to reach more farmers and provide support for their farming activities. The aim is to improve the knowledge of new agricultural techniques that allow, on the one hand, to improve the production and, on the other, to safeguard the soils.
Soil preservation is a priority in Chad. The weather conditions, which are also very much influenced by climate change, are extreme. This year, for example, weeks of scorching heat have been followed by days of torrential rain.
“This year – says Father Serge -, the rainy season was exceptional. The abundant water that fell in June, July and August caused the flood of streams and little rivers and flooded the most fertile soils. We hope that this does not threaten the cultivation of berbere and sorghum at the basis of local population food.”
The water that has fallen in abundance has benefited the nursery created by Father Serge (and supported by MAGIS). “It is true – he concludes -, some seedlings have been wiped out, but overall trees have grown. Now we have to look up to see the top of our Khaya senegalensis, a plant that produces fodder, oil and essences used to treat some diseases”.
A sign of hope for the future.