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PRESS RELEASE: Sustainable agriculture manual for Muslim farmers to be launched in Kenya next week

March 21, 2014:

Delegates to the first Islamic Farming workshop in Kenya

ARC will launch the first manual in conservation agriculture specifically designed for Muslim farmers in Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday March 27 – providing a tool to introduce millions of Muslim farmers to sustainable farming practices for the first time.

Islamic Farming: A Manual for Conservation Agriculture is a brand new curriculum that integrates Qur’anic scriptures and teachings about caring for the Earth as a religious responsibility with practical training in conservation agriculture – a proven form of sustainable agriculture that has been shown to double crop yields in less than five years while also protecting the environment for future generations.

It has been developed by ARC and Global One 2015, and is launched in partnership with the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) at the Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi, on Thursday 27 March 2014. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta has been invited to officiate at this significant event for Africa’s Muslim community.

Practical demonstration in how mulched land holds water much better than bare soil.
Long-lasting impact

As the first manual designed specifically for Muslim farmers, Islamic Farming, has enormous potential for long-lasting impact throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is already generating a great deal of interest and excitement in Muslim communities. There are 248 million Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa and many of them are farmers.

ARC developed the manual after requests from our Muslim faith partners for help in developing a faith-based approach to agriculture. We commissioned Global One 2015, a Muslim-led international development organisation, to work with Islamic scholars and clerics to provide the faith teachings and principles underpinning the manual.

Lead editor Dr Husna Ahmad, chief executive of Global One 2015, said: “As Muslims we are stewards appointed by Allah (swt) to be guardians of the world He created. It is our duty to safeguard this blessing, not to exploit it.”

Conservation agriculture workshop for the Uganda Muslim Women Association
ARC’s Sam Adams, a former farmer in Africa and a trainer in conservation agriculture techniques, devised the practical curriculum.

Susie Weldon, ARC’s Africa agriculture programme manager, said: “What makes Islamic Farming different is that it speaks to Muslim farmers in the language of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. By integrating Islamic scriptures with practical teaching in conservation agriculture, the manual will help farmers grow more food while also protecting the environment in a way that makes sense to them as Muslims.”

Around 80% depend on agriculture

Approximately 80% of all Africans depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods and survival, says Sam Adams. "Islamic Farming has been developed with these farmers in mind. The toolkit addresses poverty, food insecurity, climate change mitigation and environmental conservation.”

Ten demonstration sites are being established by SUPKEM throughout Kenya to train the Muslim community. After the launch in Kenya, Islamic Farmingwill be taken to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The manual comes at a difficult time for agriculture in Africa. Soil erosion is rising, crop yields are falling, and farmers are struggling with erratic rains due partly to climate change. The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) estimates that sub-Saharan Africa loses around eight million tonnes of soil nutrients per year, and that more than 95 million hectares of land has been degraded to the point of greatly reduced productivity.

That's why faith communities across Africa are mobilising to help their people produce more food in a way that protects biodiversity and does not damage the Earth for future generations.

For more information, see the ARC leaflet on the new initiative.

Click here for a downloadable PDF version of the manual.

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Related pages

February 3, 2014:
Blog - A new faith-based approach to farming for Muslim farmers in Kenya
ARC's Sam Adams writes about his visit to Nairobi to introduce a new faith-based approach to agriculture for Muslim farmers - Islamic Farming.
October 30, 2013:
East Africa's first national faith eco network launches in Uganda
The first environmental network of Uganda faith groups launches in Kampala today. The network will work on the environment and promote sustainable agriculture.
Faiths for Green Africa
We are working with more than 25 Christian, Muslim and Hindu faith partners in Africa.