Rally Around Harbel Farm in Liberia

$650 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 14 months
Created August 7, 2017
Help us build a self-sustaining farm in Monrovia, Liberia!
We're raising the costs to develop a community farm that will feed hundreds of people and create a source of local employment.

Emmanuel Bimba manages Harbel Farm, and he and his family are the heartbeat of their community in Monrovia, Liberia. Emmanuel has a heart for changing people's lives, and he and his wife, Fatu, now run 3 orphanages housing 150 orphans, most affected by the decimation of 14 years of civil war and then the Ebola crisis of 2014-2015.
(Harbel Farm!)

We at the grassroots nonprofit of One Body One Hope have been partnering with Pastor Emmanuel and his community in Monrovia since 2007-- it began with rice drives for his starving Liberian congregations and progressed to providing child sponsorships for their 150 children in 3 orphanages, starting a K-12 school,
installing clean water wells, providing consistent medical care including increased needs during the Ebola crisis, and developing 178 acres of farmland into Harbel Farm. This is all in partnership with AVDC, Emmanuel's sisterhood of Liberian churches, with local Liberians leading the way in all projects.

One of the biggest ways for the Dumbar Farm suburb of Monrovia to become a self-sustaining community is for that farmland to become productive, providing food, employment, and independence to the community. This is a special passion of Emmanuel's, and it is now ours, too. 

This is especially important in an area with little to no infrastructure, where employment is almost impossible, and education is rarely available. Without the means of developing these things, whole communities are left with little way to provide for their families. Harbel Farm will be a major resource and source of change for the entire area. Right now over 40 people work on this farm. Additionally, Emmanuel’s long-term goal with the farm is to help the farm workers start their own small businesses: family farms!

This summer Liberian farmers in the community planted 15 acres of oil palm (60 trees per acre), 15 acres of intercropped plantain and cocoa (950 trees per acre), and 2 acres of rice.  In October and November, the farm workers brought in a bumper rice crop, and the harvest was dried in a solar dryer. The solar dryer is used by laying out the rice inside the structure and allowing the sun to dry it down to the proper moisture content. The dryer can be used to dry different kinds of vegetable crops and will be put to good use for years to come.
However, it is nearly impossible to make a profit with
rice production alone. This is largely due to the amount of strenuous labor that the rice crop takes to grow, plus the significant subsidy that imported rice receives. 

New Crops!
Because rice will not serve as a good means to build a profit financially for the farm, other crops will be planted in the lowland fields. These new crops have been planted in November/December and they include
eggplant, peppers and bitterball. The three crops can all be sold in local markets and are being grown as trials to see how well they will grow.

The crops making great strides on the farm are the tree crops. The palm and cocoa take three years to produce their first crop.  A year into production, both crops are doing very well, especially the palm. Back in August, the farm managers requested that we purchase seed and
supplies to start our own palm nursery. Palm plants ready to be planted in the field are $5 or $6 per plant. In contrast, the seeds and necessary supplies to grow the palm plants only cost around $1 or $2. With about 65 plants/acre, saving $3 or $4 per plant adds up to around $225/acre, or $6,750 for 30 new palm acres. These savings seemed to be worth the risk and funds were provided to start their own palm nursery in September. Since September, the palm plants in the nursery have been growing very well. The workers are planning to transfer these plants from the nursery to the field this coming June and July. 

Plantain is the first tree crop that will be able to be harvested. A good majority of the plantain trees that were planted (with the cocoa trees) are growing very
well and are over 4 or 5 feet tall! They are still on pace to harvest the first crop of plantain in April or May of 2018. We are so excited for this.

New Addition:
The newest addition to the farm is the solar pump and well. In January, a team of Dordt College students installed a solar pump to pump water from a well to
the farmstead. Running water is available at each of the livestock buildings and at other buildings on the farm. Because the pump runs on solar, additional power is also now available on the farm. In the near future, it will be their goal to put up security lights and run additional power on the farm.

Their goal for the farm is for it to be self-sustaining, needing no outside assistance, by 2021. But until that point, they need assistance to support planting. Oil palm and cocoa take up to 3 years to produce fruit, and the land has not been farmed in years, taking the total bill for this self-sustaining farm to $200,000 by 2021. However, once producing, these trees raise crops for over 25 years and produce fruit and grain that's high in demand in Liberia, as well as developing employment, independence, and community identity for years to come.

This GoFundMe is attempting to raise the costs for supporting this farm through helping fund the plant nursery, provide additional power on the farm, and support the new crops of eggplant, peppers and bitterball to sell in local markets.

Your help will make a significant, tangible difference to the success of this farm and will help to feed hundreds or even thousands of people for the next 25+ years.

(Rice paddy ready for planting!)
(Goats at the farm!)

All money donated to this fundraiser goes directly to this farm project. No overhead for OBOH is covered by these funds. Every penny goes to support the development and sustainability of this farm. That's our promise. We are so grateful for every dollar raised here-- changing communities changes lives. And changes this big keep working for generations!

To hear from Emmanuel himself, play the video above!

(Harbel Farm fields)
(Emannuel and Fatu with children from the orphanages)

Click for more on what OBOH does and our work in Liberia. And please contribute to the success of Harbel Farm by donating and sharing! We are so grateful.
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We have relaunched this campaign to provide for new crops and running more power across the farm!
+ Read More

$650 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 14 months
Created August 7, 2017
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7 months ago
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14 months ago
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