Michael Putnam became the first secretary of Operation Agri in 1961, when the Baptist Men’s Movement took on the responsibility for supporting the Baptist agricultural missionaries of the BMS. Michael recently retired from his role of an OA trustee, and his long service was recognised and appreciated. Chairman Russell Ashley-Smith interviewed Michael, who tells stories of the early days of Operation Agri in this video.
Monsoon season is affecting communities living in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North Provinces of Sri Lanka, including our project area. According to reports from the Met Department rains will continue to affect these areas in the following weeks.
Some families have already been displaced due to floods, or moved to safer locations due to the threat of landslides in areas including LEADS project sites of Haldola, Marapana and Devalegama. Please pray for the people of Sri Lanka and those involved in helping them survive this extreme weather.
Paul Kyalimpa, our partner in Kyenjojo, Uganda, reports that market prices for the foods his farmers are growing have noticeably increased in recent months. This is largely because there are serious shortages of food in other parts of Uganda and in neighbouring countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan. This has several knock-on effects locally.
- Farmers feel encouraged to grow more and more food to meet the increased demand.
- Farmers are tempted to oversell their produce leading to shortages for their families.
- Lorries from far and wide flood the market looking for food to take away.
- Theft of farm produce such as maize, beans, chickens and pigs is increasing.
All this has an unfortunate effect on those without land who find it difficult to afford the higher prices, leading to malnutrition in the family. However, in the longer term, the sustainable agriculture being taught by Paul is encouraging innovation amongst farmers, increasing food supply and enabling them to combat the worrying effects of climate change in the region.