Nine-year-old Cliveness is the daughter of Chimwemwe and the granddaughter of Laston and Florence. Here, she shows us some sweet potatoes from the family’s farm. Photo: Tine Poppe.
Nine-year-old Cliveness is the daughter of Chimwemwe and the granddaughter of Laston and Florence. Here, she shows us some sweet potatoes from the family’s farm. Photo: Tine Poppe.

Laston is one of the Development Fund’s model farmers. This means that he has been educated in climate-smart agricultural techniques, and trained in how to best pass on his knowledge. He now has 31 follower farmers to whom he has passed on his knowledge.

– We’re getting old, Laston and I, says Florence. – The children should take over soon.

Chimwemwe is one of the couple’s seven children. She would be glad to take over the farm, eventually.

– After converting to climate-smart agriculture we have  enough food all year, says Chimwemwe.

She has two children, Cliveness, 9, and Yumbikani, 4. Cliveness dreams of becoming a doctor when she grows up, while Tumbikani, for the time being, is most interested in playing.

The family cultivates a diverse range of crops. They plant fruit trees in the field to hold on to water and give better nourishment for the family. They produce honey from their own beehives, which they sell on the local market.

Through the Development Fund’s program they have also acquired animals. Animals give both manure, nutrition and income. The cow Alinafe has had two calves, but Laston has given these to two of his follower farmers. He spreads his good fortune to others.

– The best thing about being a model farmer is that I can help others in the village to have a better life, says Laston.

However, the next calves that come will be sold and further investments made in the farm. With quite a few grandchildren dreaming of a university education, he needs a solid income base to face the future as well.