Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Give Peas A Chance

Our Harvest Weekend went really well - lots of people at Saturday's Supper & Quiz Night, the alco-free drinks went down well. Good congregations on Sunday, and lots of stuff for the foodbank. We also took some time to consider this year's Christian Aid Harvest Appeal - this is to help farmers like Frank in Malawi, encouraging them to grow pigeon peas.
Like many farmers in Malawi, Frank is pinning his hopes on a very special crop this Harvest - pigeon peas.This hardy crop is ideal for Malawi’s dry soil. Its deep roots are resistant to drought and can withstand the country’s increasing and destructive flash flooding.
But no matter how hard Frank works on his crops, he can’t escape a life of grinding poverty. Unscrupulous middlemen are exploiting farmers by using illegal buying scales to drive down prices. It’s not enough to be good at farming. To survive, you have to be good at business too. We learned about this Profit From Peas Project, and how relatively small amounts of money can make huge differences to people's lives.

£70 could buy a bicycle so that an experienced farmer can ride to hard-to reach areas and teach other farmers how to make good money from their peas
£100 could help provide a business training session, showing poor farmers how to negotiate higher, fairer prices and reach new markets for their crops
£300 could buy 15 farmers special pea varieties that have the best chance of growing well in Malawi. It could also buy them equipment like fertiliser and farming tools to get their peas off to the best start.
£500 could set up a Farmers’ Club. Farmers join these clubs to help each other out, and to support each other to get fair prices for their peas
Find out more here. Steph visited Malawi with Unicef, in 2008, so I was particularly interested in this year's appeal. I made a display for the back of the church using the Christian Aid materials - and even had bowls of pigeon peas for people to examine. There were plenty of opportunities for Bob to make bad puns during the service - he even suggested at one point that we went Anglican and 'passed the peas'. 
Harvest Prayer 
Source of all life, 
for all who have been sowing seeds, 
cultivating soil, 
and harvesting for many years, 
but still find themselves living in dire poverty, 
we pray. 
Grant wisdom and guidance for improved farming methods. 
Grant farmers ways to profit from their harvests, 
and the opportunity to move from stagnation out of poverty. 
Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. 


  1. This sounds fantastic! What great initiatives there are to help people out of poverty!x


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