Economic Development

Boosting Economic Development​ for Farmers

Feeding & Providing For Communities in Africa

Food is one of the most basic human necessities, along with water and shelter.   We all need food to survive, but for many people it’s not as simple as going to the nearest grocery store.   Throughout rural Africa communities must grow their own food in order to survive and generate income, yet millions of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa face severe food scarcity and searing poverty.   Children, nursing mothers, and the elderly are hit the hardest by these food shortages

There are many challenges that affect productivity of rural African farmlands.   Poor soil quality, drought and other adverse weather conditions, lack of irrigation,  lack of access to high yielding seeds, and lack of resources to purchase seeds for the next growing season make it extremely challenging for farmers to provide food for their families and have crops left to sell to earn extra income.  

Hands of Hope realizes that food production and farming is the cornerstone of a community. When farmers become more productive and sustainable, they can feed their families. With increased food production comes increased income, health, and a vibrant, thriving community.

African Lady Dehydrating Cashews

Our Approach to Helping African Farmers

Africa’s economy is dependent on agriculture.   Over 85% of  small scale farms depend on rainfall and lack irrigation inputs.   Low productivity levels of agriculture have resulted in not being able to meet the demand for food in rural areas.   In order to reduce poverty and boost economic growth, Hands of Hope has taken the following steps to help develop a more resilient, productive and prosperous  agricultural sector:

Steps for Developing a More Productive Agricultural Sector

Instructing African farmers on sustainable techniques and more efficient farm practices to improve crop productivity.

Teaching Africa’s farm communities agricultural practices that improve soil health such as:

Composting: Decomposed organic material, leaves, grasses, manure improves soil structure so that soil can easily hold moisture and nutrients

Bio Char: A type of charcoal used as a soil amendment. Soil enhanced with Bio Char and manure will alter the composition of soil for many years and significantly increases crop production

Green Manure Crops: A species of plants, usually legume, planted by farmers to maintain and improve their soil fertility

Securing the acquisition of improved seed varieties from reliable seed producing agencies.

Working with farm communities to develop and manage irrigation projects that increase productivity and extend the growing season.

Teaching farm families dehydration techniques to dry fruits and vegetables and enhance food security year around.

Dehydrating Cashews

Working with the most vulnerable families to provide nutrition and supplemental income by providing chicks and dairy goats, the startup materials, and training to care for livestock.

Impoverished people lack a formal means for saving money.   The savings group provides a structured process for saving their own money.  Members loan receive loans from the savings group.  Participating in the savings group helps members to learn how to think differently about finances and to better manage their money.  They also learn to trust and support each other in the savings group.

The Cashew Project – Zambia’s Western Province is an excellent environment to grow cashews. Hands of Hope established the Barotse Cashew Company as a purchasing, processing and marketing company.

We work with over 2000 farm families, providing seedlings, technical support and purchasing their cashews.  The processing plant provides jobs in the community and markets the cashews in Zambia.

Cashew Trees

Grafting: Cuttings from supertrees are used to produce stronger seedlings with higher production.


Planting: The seedlings are given to farmers who are trained on how to plant and care for the trees.

Spraying: Regular spraying is done to prevent diseases in the trees and damage to the cashew nuts.

Harvesting: When the crop is ready, the farmers collect the nuts and bring them to the purchasing point.

Buying: The cashews are evaluated, weighed and graded before purchasing. The farmers receive cash payments for their products.


Processing: The cashews are steamed, opened, roasted, peeled and graded before packaging.

Cleaning Cashews

Marketing: The cashews are purchased by airlines, restaurants and stores.


Dairy Goats in Africa

How You Can Help African Farmers

Hands of Hope relies completely on our volunteers and donations.  For 20 years we have honed in on the best ways to serve vulnerable people, ensuring that your donation will make the highest possible impact.  When you donate to Hands of Hope, you’re helping to transform lives in a practical and sustainable way.

Make a Difference

Your donations are greatly appreciated!

Hands of Hope is a 100%-volunteer, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your donation is sure to make an impact.