Rev. August Basson
August Basson is the founder of Growing Nations and is a missionary with AIM (Africa Inland Mission). Having been based in Lesotho & working for the Lesotho Evangelical Church of Southern Africa (LECSA) since 1993 he moved back to South Africa to take up a new regional mobilising role with AIM in 2015. He is now based in the Eastern Cape, South Africa but remains a trustee of KEL Growing Nations Trust & KEL Maphutseng Property Trust & currently acts a consultant to the Growing Nations team in Conservation Agriculture. He is also instrumental in delivering the annual AIM Farming Quest course for mission workers & those seeking to use agriculture in reaching the unreached.
August Basson and his wife Anita moved to the remote village of Tebellong in Southern Lesotho as Missionaries with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) in 1993. After many years of pastoring the local Kereke ea Evangeli Lesotho (KEL,)/LECSA (Lesotho Evengelical Church in Southern Africa) church there August felt that he wasn't making a difference and began to question whether they were in the right place. He started to realise that he couldn't get through to a congregation who came to church every Sunday hungry but had no idea what to do about it as one poor harvest followed another and the soil in the fields was visibly being washed away by erosion.
After learning about Conservation Agriculture and subsequently being introduced to Brian Oldrieve, the founder of Farming God's Way, August trialled some of their Conservation Agriculture (CA) methods in Tebellong and was amazed at the results. Initially many people thought he was crazy but the success of his crops was plain for everyone to see. August began to teach his congregation about Farming God's Way.
The work started with the congregation and local farmers in Tebellong but it wasn't long before the word spread and August and a team of trainers began teaching others over a much wider area in Lesotho.
In 2008 the LECSA asked August and his family to move away from Tebellong to Maphutseng, near Mohale's Hoek in order to concentrate on the Farming God's Way Conservation Agriculture training. As a result Growing Nations was created and started to develop the Maphutseng site into a demonstration and agriculture training facility, where pastors and farmers could come and learn more about Farming God's Way.
Growing Nations started farming at Maphutseng in 2007/08 and the family moved to Bethesda Mission, Maphutseng in 2008. Initially they lived in the old Mission House whilst the training facility was built. They lived in these facilities for a while before their house was completed later that year.
The work of Growing Nations has developed & expanded over the years, thanks to August's investment in the work & team, and now includes the Agricultural Extension work in all regions of Lesotho, the Resident Student Program, research & development into best CA methods for farmers & the only successful CA demonstration farm in Lesotho.
Having taken up a new role with AIM in 2015, the Growing Nations Basotho Management Team now run the project, assisted by other AIM Volunteers & an extension consultant but August still acts as a consultant when required. Everyone at Growing Nations are indebted to the many hours of work that August has invested following God's vision for Growing Nations.
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