Archbishop of Bukavu endorses the dissemination of AALI’s small-scale mechanization and commits to extending it to 42 parishes.

To enhance the appropriate transfer of small mechanization to rural communities in South Kivu, Bishop François-Xavier Maroy Rusengo identified 22 young men and women from various parishes to be trained in the use of these modern tools. These youths were trained by the AALI Youth Brigade which, as part of the DRC’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA-RDC), has the mission of disseminating technologies and transferring knowledge to youth and farmers in rural areas. The aim is to improve the country’s agricultural productivity and facilitate farmers’ access to high-performance agricultural technologies. The young people trained will act as voices and agents for the dissemination of this technology to other youth and farmers in South Kivu.

One of the learners is practicing the use of the weeder on the maize field.

It started with his visit on September 25, 2023, to AALI’s headquarters at the Olusegun Obasanjo Campus in Kalambo, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he was interested in the efficient benefits this technology brings to small-scale producers.

Following the interest of the Catholic Church in scaling this technology, particularly for promoting youth employment and improving the work of small-scale producers in the province of South Kivu, the President of the African Agricultural Leadership Institute (AALI), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, offered a kit of eight machines to the Archdiocese of Bukavu. The kit includes a motorized tiller, a threshing machine, a seed separator, an earth auger, a weeder, and irrigation equipment (a motor pump, turnstiles, 2 hoses, and tripods).

During the closing ceremony of the training in Murhesa, Dr. Chris Okafor, AALI’s Managing Director, said: “Following the example of Christ’s 12 apostles, they had an impact on the world. You are more than 12; go and impact our and your community with this technology. Numbers don’t matter. What really counts is the passion and quality of the work you put in to achieve your goals within a given timeframe. You are capable and trained; you can do it.”

AALI MD’s words were corroborated by the archbishop: “The majority of the Congolese population is young—70%. We’re slow to create jobs for these young people. The contribution of AALI and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a great support, especially as the Congo is an agro-pastoral country. Training young people to enjoy farming and to cultivate and succeed in using modern means today is a blessing for the country. This technology inevitably tempted me during my visit. Receiving this kit is a very good start with AALI, because we’re going to experiment and see how it will contribute, not only to improving productivity but also to changing the mindsets of those involved in agricultural production. For the moment, we’re starting in 42 parishes. With an approach that passes through the bursar’s office, from parishes to communities, and by using every farmer, extension will happen very quickly. And, personally, I’m committed to being an ambassador for AALI and IITA to other structures that can support the Congolese population in achieving its basic needs.”.

The small-scale agricultural mechanization popularized by AALI is a technological innovation that is adaptable, accessible, and less costly for small-scale producers in rural areas. It contributes to productivity and reduces the hardship of farmers’ daily work. All youth learners once they received their training participation certificate