Stopping hunger in Mozambique: Alda’s story

In the field article written on the 19 May 2011

Photo: Joel Chiziane/OxfamAUS

Each week until the end of June we’ll introduce you to one of the real people we’re working with in Mozambique, where years of drought have parched the land – making it extremely hard to grow food.

This week, meet Alda Chinguvo from Gaza Province. Our local partner, the Association for the Development of Rural Communities (ADCR), gave Alda a cow to help plough her fields. Oxfam News Editor Maureen Bathgate travelled to Alde’s village to find out just how much difference that cow has made for Alda and her family.

Alda’s story

How many people live in your household?

Alda: I have seven children aged from three years to 26 years. Six of them go to school. There are nine people living in my house altogether.

How many cows did you receive from the project?

Alda: I received two male cows. I was very happy to receive them because they will help me in ploughing my fields and I can grow more than I have before.

Before you received the cows, how did you plough your fields?

Alda: Before, I ploughed my fields by hand with a hoe. It was very difficult to plough by hand – it would take a long time. It wasn’t a big place, I was just sowing a few seeds. But it was very heavy work for me – I would get very tired. I didn’t have anyone to help me; I did it all alone.

So what is the difference now?

Alda: It’s much easier now … It would take me more than three months to finish ploughing one hectare before, but now that I have the cows, it takes me less than a month.

Are you able to plough more land now that you have cows?

Alda: I still sow that the same one-hectare plot. But now that I have taught the cows to plough, I get it done quicker.

Did you receive any assistance from ADCR regarding the ploughing?

Alda: I received the plough from the project, and I taught myself how to use it to plough. It’s going well. It will get even better as I get more experience.

I am so happy. Without this support from the project I could never have afforded to buy cows or a plough myself. Thank you.

Next week we talk to Justino Simone, project coordinator for our partner organisation the Christian Council of Mozambique Inhambane, about how CCMI has helped people in the community adapt their farming techniques to drought conditions.

(Want to help make a difference? Donate to our Stop Hunger appeal and support our work with poor communities in Mozambique.)