That’s what Christian subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe are calling the maize seed that Barnabas is funding for them.
What’s so special about the seed?
Simply that it breeds true. So a farmer can save some seed from her maize crop and sow it the next year. And repeat the process the following year. And again the year after that.
One gift of this maize seed can feed a family forever .
A terrible burden to be lifted
About 70% of Zimbabweans grow their own food on a small plot of land. Often they can grow only enough for the family’s needs. If there isn’t much extra to sell, the family doesn’t have much money.
But every year they have to find some money to buy new seed to sow. This is a terrible burden. It prevents subsistence farmers from being self-sufficient. Recently the burden has got even heavier, as seed prices have risen extremely high. It can lead to hunger and dependence on food aid.
The burden is caused by the fact that most of the maize grown in Zimbabwe are hybrid varieties. It’s no use saving seed from the harvest of a hybrid variety: the seeds will not grow into plants like the parent plant they came from. Hybrid varieties do not breed true.
4kg of independence and resilience
What Zimbabwean Christian farmers have named the “wonder seed maize” is a traditional open-pollinated variety ‒ which breeds true.
Our project partners grow many hectares of this maize every year. The crop is not eaten but dried and packed into 4kg bags, which are distributed free to the poorest Christian families for them to sow on their land. Each family who receives a 4kg pack of open-pollinated seeds will never have to buy maize seed again.
The project has “reduced the burden they were carrying on their shoulders”, said some past recipients.
The crop for 2024 is already in the ground and growing. But our project partners rent the fields, and the young plants need fertiliser, water and other input
s. This is where Barnabas steps in to the picture. Your gifts can help with those costs.
Can you give a gift to help Christian farmers lift themselves out of dependency and build a sustainable future for their families and community?
How you can help
A 4kg pack of open-pollinated variety (OPV) maize seed will enable a Christian farmer to plant a crop of maize that will feed a family of six for a year as well as providing seed to sow for the next year. – BarnarbasAidAgriculture