Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Assessing our ability to market our surplus produce

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

A very important factor to assess is to find out how and where you are going to sell your produce profitably. This will involve researching what price you can realistically expect and will include an assessment of distance and your ability to get your produce to market, as well as the availability of inputs and the distance they would have to be carried. Many farmers fail because they did not do this market research properly.

If your farm in a very distant and isolated community, where there are no cash markets, you may find that you can make a profit by using a barter trading system. However this also needs careful and honest research, which faces the facts as they are, and this must include the integrity of your trading partners.

Look at the situation of a small-scale producer in a very poor and isolated community, which is too far from feasible markets. It would first mean trying to feed your family, but also with a hope of producing a sensibly sized surplus, that you can trust God for, by being faithful with what you have. Firstly this surplus would help to assure that you could at least feed your family in nearly all seasons that the Lord may allow.

Secondly, if you did produce a surplus, you would be able to be a model for those around you, and to supply some food to those who have none. This unselfish generosity of spirit so pleases God (the True Fast of Isaiah 58), and somehow, in a way, which we can’t predict exactly, the Lord would measure back what you have measured out (Luke 6: 38).

You would also be able to receive all the promises that God gives in that wonderful passage in Isaiah 58, and which also includes the promise that you will be recognised as the leaders in the rebuilding of your community. It is incredibly powerful when poor people start to give from what they are given by the Lord. This ‘giving’ not only includes helping others to have some food, but by being a discipleship model and sharing the knowledge we have with them, will help to break the yoke of poverty and hunger of all the people around you.

This Christ-like humility and unselfishness is the beautiful motive of the heart that brings miracles. It is from this beginning point, amongst the poorest of the poor around us, that God’s Way of removing the yoke of oppression will spread upwards and outwards throughout Africa and the Developing world!

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