Food is good. So is sustainability. And the Sustainable Farm Project at the base of the Lubombo mountains near Siteki, Swaziland combines the best of both!
The purpose of this project is triple fold. First, the farm provides fresh, nutrient-dense food to our neighbors affected by HIV (which is a number that is estimated to be above 30% of the population in Swaziland.) In addition to our neighbors, the farm also provides food for area care points who serve orphaned and vulnerable children in our community.
The second purpose of the farm is demonstrating and teaching sustainable farming techniques. Since Swaziland has experienced massive drought in recent years, we have implemented a farming technique called aquaponics—a method using fish to fertilize water that gravity-feeds into water beds with plant floating on top. The plants clean the water and it is then pumped back into the fish tank. Because the same water is being recycled, this method of farming uses 90% less water than traditional farming and is also an organic and compact growing method.
The third purpose of the farm is to create a revenue stream and employment opportunities for people in our community. In Swaziland, over half of the adults are unemployed. Because of the high unemployment rates, many people resort to unethical and damaging ways of making money to provide for their families. The farm currently provides steady, ethical employment for six people in our community and also provides an in-country revenue stream