The corn credit program for farmers in the TFM concession is proving successful in the region. From 0.8 tonnes per hectare at the start of the monitoring program, yield over time has reached its peak of 6.83 tonnes per hectare. This program has experienced a spectacular take-off with the support of local customary chiefs. And some beneficiaries have even managed to develop more than 30 hectares of cultivated land thanks to the supervision of TFM agronomists.
TFM's support consists of the provision of agricultural inputs, including 5 bags of NPK fertilizer, 3 bags of urea and 30 kg of corn seeds per hectare; and technical assistance from qualified agronomists. The goal is not only to improve the socio-economic conditions of farmers, but also and above all to restore the image of the region's granary covered by the TFM concession.
Integration of customary chiefs into the program
The success of the program has generated emulation across the region. The customary chiefs have expressed a desire to integrate them into the 2011-2012 agricultural season. Tenke Fungurme Mining as a good neighbor has allowed them to experience improving their yields.
The taste for success
Chief Mukabe Mwelwa next to his new tractor
Land chief Mukabe Mwelwa, from the village of the same name, singled out the improvement in his agricultural yield after enrolling in TFM's corn credit program in 2011. After a difficult start, a labor of sacrifice and hard work, Chef Mukabe has grown from two hectares to 15 hectares in record time thanks to the support of TFM. A financial flourishing which subsequently enabled him to acquire another 15 hectares on his own. Moved, Chef Mukabe testifies to the realization of his dream: “When TFM launched its corn credit program in 2011, I quickly jumped at the opportunity to finally realize my dream of being a big farmer. I wanted to have a lot of hectares from the first year, but unfortunately the limit was only two hectares for the beginner. It was not at all easy, some fellow customary chiefs had to give up along the way. It is a job that requires a lot: willpower, rigorous monitoring and above all good support like that of TFM. »
Towards sustainability of the corn credit program
As a true guardian of ancestral traditions, Chief Mukabe has taken the corn credit program head-on, while repaying as it should be each year what is owed to the program, i.e. nearly one ton per hectare. The refunded amount is reinvested in the program. After a few years his performance was more than satisfactory: “My agricultural performance has improved significantly as a result of this support from TFM. So, I got myself some equipment to better realize my dream. I bought a 70 horsepower tractor at the end of the 2020 farming season, but long before that I had bought a mini-bus and an all-terrain vehicle (jeep). I am able to send my children to good schools in the area. It is also a great joy as a chief to set a good example for the members of the village. The people you see coming to help me in the field are all paid, a way in my turn to help them although this is periodic, "added Chief Mukabe Mwelwa.
Besides Chef Mukabe Mwelwa, several other chefs have also seen their performance improve with the guidance of TFM. This is the case with Chiefs Kalasa, Mulumbu, Mukabe Shabingi, and the list is not exhaustive. The latter are to this day flourished economically. A better return has enabled them each to invest in the economic development of their regions. Modern houses, vehicles, mills, tractors, motorcycles to name a few.
As TFM's mining concession is for mining purposes, the company, as a good neighbor and concerned with the development of the communities in its concession, has since its establishment in the region developed a program of supervision and support for agriculture. With the input support approach and technical support, for the 2019-2020 agricultural season, the farmers of the concession produced nearly 11,000 tonnes of corn, considering all the support programs for local agriculture. More than 640 hectares of land were exploited for this crop year and on which nearly 640 farmers were supervised. This year TFM is banking on an area of 1,500 hectares. As to say Tenke Fungurume Mining, an investment in the future of the DRC.
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