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Thanks to donations from WCoA, FEBA owns a large farm in Kinshasa province some distance outside of Kinshasa. FEBA's leaders are very conscious of the importance of food production, something which was strongly underlined by the widespread hunger during the COVID lock-down. After political problems cost them their first farm, FEBA was able to buy a new one in a safer place, starting with 24 acres in 2017 and now extending to a little over 48 acres. There they are raising food for the Women’s Center and to sell to support other projects. The main crops are staples like manioc and corn, but there also is a small market garden to provide tomatoes, eggplant, beans, and watermelon for the Kinshasa restaurants. The orchard is not yet producing but it is anticipated that in a few years it will do so. The farm also raises chickens and ducks for the Kinshasa restaurant scene, and serves to demonstrate best practices in small animal husbandry.

FEBA also demonstrates the use of better-quality seeds and agricultural methods and are addressing the poverty of the surrounding village. Local villagers have no means to earn money to supplement their subsistence farming, so they welcome contract work in planting, weeding, and harvesting. This remote area has virtually no machinery, so the arrival of FEBA’s tractor and plow-wagon was a big event, since it can also serve neighboring farmers.

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The farm has focused on traditional crops, cassava and corn, which are staples of most people's diets and familiar to the local population

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A small house has been built to store these crops until they can be taken to market

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As any gardener or farmer knows, the weather is a critical factor for a farm. As tropical country, Congo has no winter but it does have alternating rainy and dry seasons. There are two of each, a longer rainy season about Sept.-Dec., then a shorter dry season, followed by a second rainy season, late Feb.-May, followed by a longer dry season. Cassava, a root crop, usually requires a year to mature, from planting at the beginning of the rains in September to harvesting in August. Corn normally matures in about five months, so what is planted in September is ripe for drying in January and a second crop can be planted in late February. Unhappily, climate change has adversely affected the weather in Congo, making the beginning and end of rainy and dry seasons unpredictable, and causing the rains to be more extreme, even torrential and destructive. This has significantly affected farming. For example, if rains do not begin until October, the first growing season is shortened. Then heavier than normal rains in December can cause immature corn to rot in the ground.

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The garden grows eggplant, tomatoes and beans, primarily for sale in Kinshasa

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This project has been somewhat challenging because these crops need regular watering, so either water must be brought by pick-up from a stream some distance away during dry season, or the garden can function only in the rainy season.

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The small animal husbandry includes chickens and ducks 

These animals are intended for sale in Kinshasa’s usually lively restaurant scene.  The enclosure for the adult chickens and ducks includes a covered hen-house, attached to the crop storage house.

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A small house, built to serve for overnight stays by visitors from Kinshasa, provides a safe place for the rabbits and baby chicks.

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Trees of various kinds have been planted around the boundaries of the farm. These include eucalyptus and some fruit trees. A full “orchard” of citrus, papaya, oil-palm, and moringa trees, will soon be planted on about 5 acres. Moringa is called a miracle tree because its leaves are full of protein and can provide up to 40% of that most important food value. (Most Congolese can rarely afford any kind of meat; vegetable protein is the standard source.) It will be some years before all these trees bear fruit, but they are one of the bright hopes for diversifying the farm’s production.

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Eucalyptus Tree

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Papaya Tree


As the farm has grown, the equipment needed for processing the crops has increased. First it was storage for the crops, then living space for the animals. Next facilities for improving the farm efficiency were begun. The first was making a permanent soaking pool for the cassava, a pool which doubles as a water reservoir when not in use for the cassava. Along with this are sturdier drying racks built from bamboo. Why were these things needed? Cassava is a root crop which requires a significant amount of curing. It must be peeled, then soaked for at least three days, then dried thoroughly in the sun. (At first the farm had only a dug-out hollow in the ground, covered with a plastic tarp, in which to soak the cassava, and rather unstable racks made of local sticks. The new pool and bamboo racks are a great improvement!)

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Peeling cassava

A man holding cassava

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The old cassava soaking pool

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The new and improved cassava soaking pool.

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When dry, the cassava is loaded into 120 pound sacks for transportation to the city, to feed members of FEBA and to sell

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Cassava is pounded or milled into flour and cooked in various ways as the main meal. Especially during the COVID shut down it was important to distribute sacks of ground cassava.

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Strips of cassava to be pounded into flour

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Sacks of corn flour ready to be distributed


A farm manager oversees the whole project, though his primary responsibility is the traditional crops. An assistant cares for the chickens, ducks, and rabbits. A tractor must be hired to plow the fields for the twice-yearly planting. Local village neighbors are hired for the planting and weeding, harvesting and curing. This contributes a small but important source of economic stimulus to the local community. Weekly trips from the city bring Maman Monique and/or her colleagues to the farm to inspect, guide, and provide necessary assistance. This is an opportunity to educate the villagers in best practices to augment their traditional subsistence farming techniques. It also serves to provide water in dry season (the truck makes trips to the nearest stream) and brings any needed supplies (such as materials to build rabbit hutches) and the money for payday. The return trip to the city transports the harvest or fresh greens, or other locally produced things such as the charcoal on which most people rely for cooking.

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Women making a cassava dish called shikwanga

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Maman Monique and Maman Antoinette

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Maman Monique with help collecting water

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