For many years, our partner organisation of the Baptist Convention of Malawi (BACOMA) has owned a 20-hectare farm – the so-called Balaka Farm. Balaka is located in the south of Malawi about two hours by car north of Blantyre. The EBM INTERNATIONAL missionary Karin Schwarz has been working on the farm since 2018. It is her desire to train young adults in how they can carry out agriculture according to God’s standards. In Chichewa and English this means “kudzidalira pa moyo – farming God’s way”. It is about doing without artificial fertilizers and growing vegetables and grains that grow well and are easy to sell. Karin is also a trained Anamed trainer (a natural healing method) and passes on her knowledge to the trainees. So natural medicine can be produced from some plants (e.g. Artemisia) and sold. On the farm, there is also a small animal breeding and so, among other things, up to 100 eggs can be used and sold daily.
The employees on the farm thus not only secure their own livelihood and provide for their families but also learn intensively and very practically how to look after themselves, take care of their own health, and even earn a small income with what they earn. The knowledge is often multiplied by them and their families in the villages they come from. In 2019, the work on the farm has come a step closer to BACOMA’s long-awaited dream: A training farm is to be built on the Balaka grounds. In the meantime, accommodation has been built where up to 30 people can be accommodated for training. And sustainability is also taken into account here: Bio toilets have been built which can be used to produce fertilizer and many fruit trees have been planted which the training participants can harvest.
Already 16 young adults now have completed a 3-month training course and are passing on their knowledge in their villages. In order to be able to expand this training work even further an additional seminar house is to be built.
The donations for this farm are an investment in people and in the fight against hunger in one of the poorest countries in the world. The support helps young people in the long term and contributes to the development of a training farm. Already 10% of the budget can be covered by own income and this percentage is expected to increase over time through sales.