The civil conflict that have interested the Congo Project area between 1997 and 2002 have severely disrupted local agriculture and stock-breeding, producing severe poverty and a migratory flux towards Congo-Brazzaville’s over-crowded cities. Avec’s response is a long-term effort to relaunch the rural economy to favor durable, responsible and self-achieved development.
Relaunching agriculture and stock-breeding is the real heart of the Congo Project. The goal is to re-establish efficient and sustainable agricultural and breeding techniques by fully involving the local population and by focusing on women and the young generations who often don’t have the resources (land, knowledge, instruments) necessary to achieve economic independence. The first results of the initiative started in 2005 show that sustainable and efficient agriculture and stock-breeding allow local farmers and their families to address nutritional deficits and to reduce dependency from expensive and often unreliable imported products. Once again, our development strategies have been conceived by the Congolese partners of Avec Congo, thanks to their deep knowledge of the local conditions and through a constant dialogue with the farmers involved.
The relaunch of agriculture and stock-breeding in the Mayama, Kindamba, Vinza and Kinda districts is achieved through the following activities:
a. Enhancing family-owned vegetable gardens through the diffusion of knowledge, seeds and basic instruments.
b. Supporting medium-sized family-run agriculture (corn, rice and manioc) through locally-based production and distribution of seeds and through the diffusion of sustainable and efficient techniques.
c. Recreating local agricultural transports by providing a vehicle.
d. Reestablishing the agricultural products’ transformation activities fundamental for the re-insertion of the local farmers in the national markets. This is achieved by creating a small plant to transform corn and rice for human consumption and to produce animal fodder using the discarded material.
e. Relaunching local stock-breeding by launching pilot farms for reproduction and distribution of animals to the local farmers.
These initiatives aim to recreate a cycle of sustainable and integrated agricultural practices. Each one of them interacts with the others for mutual support, in an effort to maximize the results and to minimize the waste of resources (see picture). They are being implemented in parallel according to the principles of sustainable, gradual and self-achieved development followed by Avec.