JAM’s farm, a first for Africa

JAM’s farm, a first for Africa

JAM believes in the importance of innovative thinking in order to move forward positively. The work done over the years at the Pambarra Life Center at Vilankulos, Mozambique – and our vision for the future – are good examples of JAM’s focused intent to keep on pushing the boundaries of its development work in order to reach set strategic goals and objectives.

The Pambarra Farm is a promising project that will create upliftment for the whole area. JAM is positive that it will become a model of development for Sub Saharan Africa, and that the investment that JAM has made over the years in the Pambarra Life Center will bear much fruit.

Apart from the significance of the training element at the farm, JAM has worked hard at developing it as a seed-producing unit too, considering that the production of high-quality seed is fundamental to modern agriculture. Of paramount importance is the production of disease-free root stock, which is the seed for Cassava production.

Looking ahead, JAM wishes to develop a Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) Program; a concept that originated in Brazil and has been endorsed by major role-players in the humanitarian field. The primary goals of this program focus on linking school feeding programs with local small-scale farmer production by creating an ongoing market for small landholders.

HGSF is a school feeding program that provides food produced and purchased within a country. This speaks to JAM’s desire to provide nutrition to children at school and pre-school levels, and also to establish a commercial farm and smallholder farmers to produce the food. This creates a self-sustainable economy through agriculture that positively boosts food security in the region.

JAM’s vision is to see 6 000 children in Mozambique benefit from HGSF. To the best of JAM’s knowledge there are no proven HGSF models that have successfully been implemented in Africa to date, which if implemented successfully, will place JAM at the cutting edge of development on the African continent.

The commercial farm will be used for the production of maize for school feeding (this will be under irrigation), a drought-resistant bean with a very high protein content (supplemented with irrigation through dry spells) and Cassava, a starch food with a strong local off-take market. Cassava has the highest uptake of nitrates from cattle manure of any plant, hence the growth of this plant and cattle production complements each other very well.

JAM also endeavors to become involved in aquaculture. The Pambarra Life Center and neighboring areas on the river are ideally suited to fish farming. The development of aquaculture in Mozambique plays an important role in the socio-economic development of the country: providing cheap protein, improving the population’s diet, creating jobs, generating income and promoting regional development.

There are 20 acres of land on the Pambarra Life Center that can be very successfully developed into a fish farm, with an initial capacity after one year of producing two to three tons a month. Fresh and dried Tilapia is very popular with the local population and is a great source of protein and other supplements that it makes an ideal food to use in the school feeding programs.

The initial plans about farm development have grown steadily, with a number of practical matters also successfully tended to (establishment of an irrigation system, electrical installation, the renovation of buildings, construction of offices and training facilities, and the renovation of the warehouse).

JAM is excited about what the future holds and how its Mozambican Farm Development project will successfully Help Africa help itself. To find out more about JAM’s Agricultural Development Programmes and how you can extend a helping hand, please email: canada@jamint.com.