For the rural population of both Chato and Biharamulo Districts, the main occupation is rain-fed subsistence farming and the principal crops are maize, cassava, rice and bananas although there are market gardeners producing a variety of crops including cabbage, tomatoes, beans etc. Cattle and goats are also grazed widely.
We are working with a small number of cooperative groups and have been encouraging them with the introduction of sunflower oil production, honey, dairy goats etc in order to provide some measure of diversification. In addition we have provided assistance in the procurement of better quality seed for the staple crops and this has resulted in improved yields in spite of a general severe shortage of rainfall recently.
Reliance of rainfall is a challenge for many. There is some irrigation mostly through the use of diesel pumps which are expensive. There has been considerable development in the use of affordable and portable solar pumps provide irrigation and we have identified possible suppliers. We hope to be able to develop this idea in the future.