In the areas in which we operate, communities tend to lack steady income to take them out of poverty. In remote areas, subsistence farming is the norm, but this is unsustainable in the long term, as farmers are only able to provide food for themselves and sell what little is left in a piecemeal way. Our approach is to invest in high-impact livelihood projects, in particular farming associations that produce year-round food crops and rear animals as a form of income.
In both Zambia and Mozambique, we have been instrumental in setting up farming associations that are recognised legally in each country and have basic governance, ensuring that all members that participate will share in the benefits.
After a period of investment and educational support, we hand over full ownership of each project to the community. While we continue to provide help should they need it, the intention is that the community should recognise the long-term benefit of the project and manage it themselves. We are particularly conscious of the importance of economic inclusion and actively seek out ways to cooperate with women’s and youth groups.
In addition, the mining operations are an immediate customer for locally grown produce – whether its vegetables or chickens – and we negotiate a fair market price for any produce sold.