I am proud to work with Caritas, says Muyunda Masiye, a lead farmer in Mayukwayukwa refugee settleme
August 9, 2022 News

I am proud to work with Caritas, says Muyunda Masiye, a lead farmer in Mayukwayukwa refugee settleme

Muyunda Masiye originally comes from Mongu but got to Mayukwayukwa after taking up the farm in the area after his father. Muyunda, a 52-year-old Zambian, lives in the area with his wife and 7 children. He was supported by Caritas in the past and now is one of the lead farmers in the settlement.

Muyunda with his wife, Lungowe Songiso, in his tomato garden

Caritas Czech Republic in Zambia has been supporting refugees and the host communities in Mayukwayukwa since mid-2014. Among the many people it has supported is Mr Muyunda, a husband and lead farmer. 

The lead farmers, who are chosen in the careful selection process, are the key collaborators for enhancing Caritas projects. So what do the lead farmers actually do? Mr Muyunda, who likes this work a lot explains it: “Being a lead farmer means connecting Caritas Czech Republic with farmers here in Mayukwayukwa. I get information from Caritas and pass it to the farmers. Then I also convey the information from the farmers to Caritas. For example, if the farmers need inputs like fertilizer in time or if there is a disease attack on the crops, I inform Caritas and we can see what can be done about it.” 

Lead farmers have however much more responsibilities and tasks: “Sometimes I also train the farmers, I have a demo plot with cassava and ground nuts and I teach farmers how to take care and nurture the crops. I pass on the knowledge I got from Caritas. Last but not least, I also monitor and report how the farmers are doing,” adds Mr Muyunda.

Farming diversification

crop diversification in Mr Muyunda's garden

Aside from just being a lead farmer, Muyunda has a garden with cabbage and tomatoes and also a farming plot where he grows maize, cassava, soya beans and ground nuts. “Most of the maize yields we keep for consumption for the family, but as far as other crops are concerned, we partly keep it and partly sell it,” says Muyunda.

Masiye Muyunda has many plans and ideas to make his farming more effective. The biggest wish for him now is to have a 100-meter pipe to bring water to his field as thanks to this he could be farming all year round. According to him watering the fields is very challenging for the farmers in the area and the harvest of the majority depends on the quality of rains during rainy seasons.

And how does Mr Muyunda see Caritas's work in Mayukwayukwa? 

“Caritas helps us and we appreciate it. Me and the community. I have been working with Caritas, I have seen how they work and I am proud to work with them,” Mr Muyunda.

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