Foundations for Farming is an initiative aimed at bringing transformation to individuals, communities and nations through faithful and productive use of the land.
Foundations for Farming started when Brian Oldreive sought God for a solution to the problem he was facing on the commercial farm he was managing in Zimbabwe. Burning and deep soil inversion were common practice on the farm causing terrible sheet erosion to occur, resulting in loss of seed and water. The farm was nearing bankruptcy, increasing amounts of money were being spent on the machinery required for ploughing and double rollings of the land, and yet yields were declining. God began to reveal to Brian that in natural creation there is no deep soil inversion and that a thick blanket of fallen leaves and grass covers the surface of the soil.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
After some research into how to apply his learnings from nature into farming, Brian discovered minimal tillage. He experimented the methods on 2Ha of the farm using just a hoe. That year, the farm made a profit, and with that confirmation, Brian had faith to increase the portion farmed under minimal-tillage. Within 6 years, the entire farm (1000Ha) was under minimal tillage, and in subsequent years, due to the yearly profits from then on, other farms were bought and eventually Brian was overseeing 3,500 Ha of minimal tillage farming.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 (NIV)
Brian felt very early on that this method of farming was not just meant for his own gain, but that he must teach the poor, and through that heart, Foundations for Farming was born. From the success on the commercial farm Brian was invited to share his teaching in Zambia in the 1990s. The Government of Zambia formally endorsed his farming principles, known publicly as conservation farming.
However, Foundations seeks to address the heart issues that hold people in poverty, alongside the conservation farming principles. From the day that Brian sought God for a solution in the 1980s, Jesus has remained the foundation of all we teach. As a result, the majority of time is spent teaching people values such as: faithfulness, giving, doing things on time, at a high standard, without wasting resources and doing it all with the joy of the Lord as their strength.
Foundations for Farming teaches people to be faithful with what God has given them, no matter how small that thing may be. Starting small and being faithful provides a solid foundation for God to build upon and add to.
For more information about Foundations for Farming, please visit their website.