It can be overwhelming to think about how to solve major world problems – like hunger. But, Vernon Peterson and Roy Danforth are confident that a new project can help to enhance nutrition in the Central African Republic (CAR). Together they have launched “Peaches to Papayas,” a project focused on bringing papaya and many other fruit trees to the CAR through the proceeds from growing peach trees in Fresno County, California.
Peterson, is a peach grower, fruit packer, organic farmer and member of Kingsburg Covenant. Danforth is a Covenant missionary to the CAR. where his role involves agriculture. The two have been friends for many years.
Last fall, both men were present at a gathering of San Joaquin Valley growers with representatives from the World Food Bank. Greg Yee, Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) Associate Superintendent, arranged for the meeting knowing farmers in others parts of the Covenant have contributed to the church’s cooperative efforts with the World Food Bank. Dialogue focused on how to connect the average person in a meaningful way to the need overseas. Kingsburg Covenant pastor, Tim Boynton comments, “It didn’t take long for Peterson to begin talking about the idea that has become ‘Peaches to Papayas.’”
Here’s how it works: The cost to nurture one peach tree this season is about $50. The fruit from the tree should gross about $100. Peaches to Papayas has set aside an orchard of 600 trees, and is looking for families or churches to sponsor trees. The project’s net gain will then be invested in purchasing fruit trees in the CAR which will be grown, and transported to the village at a cost of only $5 per tree. The Center for Experimentation in Agriculture (CEFA), that Danforth works through, was recently granted 1,000 acres of land from the Central African Republican government to reach more farmers.
A weekly, one-minute informative video is produced documenting the peach growing process and featuring life and agriculture in the C.A.R. Those sponsoring a tree will be added to the subscription to receive these weekly videos. You’ll not only be helping to cure world hunger, you’ll learn what it takes to grow a crop of peaches in California and a crop of tropical fruit and vegetables in CAR.
Boynton writes, “Anyone can participate in the project. We want Covenanters to get on board and we also want this to spark ideas in others as to how we can creatively feed the world.”
Click here for a video introduction to the project.
To sponsor a peach tree just click here.
Submitted by: Pacific Southwest Conference Staff