The Armstrong family has been working with fodder crops and legumes for over 30 years in South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Damara Farm was set up to be an educational centre for sustainable agriculture for both commercial and small emerging farmers, based on an integrated farming systems approach which Gavin developed.
Gavin Armstrong worked on many food security projects in Africa, with the aim to teach farmers practical skills that will help them long-term, even after aid agencies concluded the project. He designed and built an ox-drawn plough called the Tenkara-Kend (amongst other ox-drawn implements) to break the ‘plough pan’ for Ethiopian peasant farmers, which enabled them to improve their crop production. He also utilised fodder crops for gully rehabilitation and soil stabilization, making previously unusable land productive.
Leah Armstrong has taken over the management of Damara Farm from her father and is further developing the projects that Gavin began on the farm in the early 1990’s. She is a qualified Landscape Architect, and has experience working with commercial and informal farmers in South Africa and further afield. Current projects she is working on are in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia growing fodder for livestock and wildlife.