Planting Hope in Central Africa
Planting Hope in Central Africa 


Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at CEFA.  The most up to date news about CEFA and the Training Center can be found on the CEFA blog. Some of the postings are listed below.


To see the most up to date news about Roy and Aleta Danforth, please check out their Danforth Days blog.  There, you will find stories of a more personal nature about the Danforths and their family.


March 13, 2017

The most common cooking oil used in CEFA's part of Central Africa is palm oil, a native of the area and it is in very high demand. CEFA has connected with ag research stations that have selected very high yielding varieties and planted 20 hectares (45 acres) on CEFA property. The trees are starting to come into production and the traditional way of extracting the oil is squeezing by hand. But in neighboring Cameroon, they have come up with body powered presses that CEFA is using that can produce 100 litres (or quarts) in a week's time. But even that press is not keeping up with the harvest, so CEFA is researching a new model that is driven by electricity. Thanks to a timely donation from the Evangelical Covenant Church in Davis, California, CEFA will be able to establish an agricultural products processing center. Construction of the building will start soon. CEFA is truly blessed so that it can be a blessing to others! More on this project later.   

October 18, 2016

Part of CEFA's middle name is all about experimentation or testing out new varieties for improving yield, taste, or other desired characteristics. The quality of the local varieties of papaya here are less than appealing to me, as many are not very sweet nor do they have a good flavor. So, over the years, I have imported new varieties that I picked up while visiting ECHO in Florida, during my furlough years in the States. I have tried all the Hawaiian Solos and several of the Thai Reds – they are all really good – but for some reason they do not seem to stay alive for more than a few years! Consuming papayas is common here, but CEFA wants to distribute trees to small farmers that are more appealing and more nutritious. Then came the latest in papaya discoveries as one of our workers came with a Papaya fruit from her tree. After tasting it, it was really sweet and had a fabulous flavor. And what is even more amazing is the hole or cavity in the middle is the smallest I have ever seen! I went with her to see the tree and it was several years old and full of fruit. I asked where she got the seed and she said she got it from one of my Thai Reds. So, apparently, this is a cross between a local variety and the Thai Red where it ended up taking on the best traits from both types – good flavor, sweet, lasts years, and grows well here. Thank you ECHO and thanks to God for finally making a papaya that I like and hopefully others will enjoy it enough so that they will plant them around their homes to provide good food for their families for years to come!  

October 8, 2016




Last year, CEFA needed to connect the field crops/fruit tree area with the large animal grazing area with a bridge that a small pick-up or large truck could go over. I learned from a bridge specialist in the States, Tom Lawson from Oklahoma, that you could build a complete bridge without using cement. The materials we used were basically chain-link fence, local rocks, a truck frame, and thick lumber from our nearby sawmill. It only took two weeks to construct and it is holding out well. So, this year, after establishing almost 80 acres of a reforestation project from Watershed Foundation (New Mexico), we needed another bridge to connect that area with the field crops/fruit trees area. This one took more than twice as long to construct due to the heavy granite boulders that are prevalent in the stream. But this week, it was finished and tested with a very large truck. No longer do the trucks have to travel several miles to get to the reforestation area – now it is only a matter of a few hundred feet! This will save CEFA fuel, wear and tear on the vehicles, and time.  Thank you Watershed Foundation for your partnership with CEFA!

October 3, 2016


CEFA's contract employees


There's a lot of work that gets done around the farm by temporary workers, like weeding, planting, roadwork, and palm oil processing.  CEFA has a base, though, of employees with contracts, who keep the village visits going and maintain the background work (bookkeeping and nursery care, for example) and who run the place.  They recently had a meeting getting them up to date on overall finances and to encourage them each to develop their own farms and microenterprises, ie, put in to practice what they are teaching to villagers. We are thankful for each one of these workers, for the effort invested and the resultant blessings.

September 21, 2016


New leafy green to eat


A CEFA co-op's cowpea fields in the village of Nangoko became the testing ground for a new tasty, yet healthy idea for reducing malnutrition in CAR! One of the members of the Nangoko co-op, was weeding her almost mature cowpea field and she noticed how shiny and green the leaves looked and thought they would be good for cooking and eating. She asked CEFA's village supervisor, Nadege, and she said why not give them a try! So, selected leaves were picked, cooked, then pounded and served to not just malnourished kids, but also adults. And it was a huge success for all that partook - and it never been tried before in our area! Other members of the co-op are doing it and now Nangoko has a new supply of nutritious food for curing malnutrition in a very tasty way!

September 14, 2016


Getting oil palms out to the village co-ops


Whether the village is across the river or closer by, the CEFA team gets out to the co-ops.  Recently palm trees were delivered to various villages, some of which are on main roads, but others required some creativity, like barerooting the trees and carrying them in a sack on the back of a motorcycle in a canoe.  In each case, CEFA's village agents, like Nadege, helped the co-ops to understand how to plant and care for these trees.  The oil from these palms are a promise for the future for these farmers.

Find out more about CEFA

Please contact us at:

CEFA Foundation
c/o Byron Miller
30W098 Willow Lane
Warrenville, IL 60555‐1022


Find up to date news about CEFA in the CEFA blog.


Find up to date news about Roy and Aleta Danforth and their family in the Danforth Days blog.

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Helping Central Africans Achieve Food Security Through Agriculture


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