One of the primary components of PacMoore’s BAM initiative is to use the creation of jobs in third world countries as a platform to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Through several visits to Uganda we are formulating relationships that we hope will lead to opportunities to partner with entrepreneurs and existing businesses. To date one of the projects that has made the biggest impact is working with some farmer groups in western Uganda near the town of Fort Portal. Over the past few planting seasons we have promised a market for the farmers who grow a grain called amaranth. Amaranth is an extremely healthy grain and it is slowly gaining traction as a partial solution to Africa’s malnutrition problems. However, farmers are generally not familiar with how to plant amaranth and there is no established market currently. That is where PacMoore is stepping in.
We have hired an extension worker to help the farmers learn how to plant and grow amaranth and we have also signed contracts with the farmers to guarantee them a market for whatever grain they do produce. This growing season we decided to take it one step further and we agreed to lease 200 acres on which to grow our own amaranth grain. The process is slow and tedious but progress is being made none-the-less and we are extremely excited about the opportunity to help pay the people a good wage for the work they are performing.
Attached are a couple of photos showing the fields where we are planting amaranth. You will see in the pictures how beautiful the landscape is, along with the rich, dark soil. The pictures clearly show that farming in Uganda is much different that farming in the States. And while that makes things less efficient it does allow us to put many people to work. During the past few weeks of planting we have been able to have approximately 70 people out working to prepare the soil and plant the seeds. The picture showing the people being paid at the end of the week is priceless in our eyes!
We have much more work to do and much more processes to learn, but God has been ever faithful to allow us to make this progress and we are hopeful this will only mark the beginning of our work with these farmers and in Africa!