Farmers 2

Betti Lounga lives in the Enwezini region. She and George __ are neighbors and friends. She and her husband have had trials for at least 3 years, and likes being involved with SFHC. She currently has a replication of an intercropping systems trial (which has been running since 2007) and a groundnut variety trial. She is very impressed by what crop residue management can do for maize yields, and she really likes the maize pigeon pea intercropping system. She understood most of what I said, but usually replied in chitambuka.

The first time we went to Mesha Kongora’s farm, I was able to take one soil sample and look at a trial before a sudden downpour started. Mesha’s home and farm are a hike from any drivable path, so we had walked for about 15 minutes to get to the field in the first place. Once the downpour started, we ran back to his home, a two room brick and mud home with a thatched roof. I had never stood under thatching during heavy rain and was impressed at how well it held. We waited until the rain stopped. In Chitambuka, Mesha said that I was a visitor who brought a sharp knife – which is apparently a saying – meaning that I brought the rain.

Mesha Kongora (3rd from left) in his pigeon pea variety trial


George Kauteka is Betti’s neighbor. He has a soya trial on his farm. I wasn’t able to learn much about him as he spoke no English, but he was very nice, and helped excavate roots. He liked that one of the new varieties flowered earlier, and noticed a difference between the inoculated and un-inoculated trials.

G. Kauteka (on right) in his soya variety trial

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