Moulton Seas End farmer and team organise Mud Hut Ball

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The sounds, smells and tastes of Africa are to be recreated at a charity auction ball.

African musicians will provide music and the continent will inspire food being served at The Mud Hut Ball on November 21.

Moulton Seas End flower grower Matthew Naylor and a group of local farming friends are organising the event to raise money for and awareness of fellow farmers in the developing world.

All of the profits from the ball will be donated to Farm Africa, a UK charity which educates subsistence farmers.

Matthew has gained an understanding of the problems facing farmers in East Africa, having made four visits, usually to write about conditions there for Farmers Weekly.

However, the last time he went to Tanzania his visit had a more practical purpose.

He was part of a Farm Africa team constructing sturdy Langstroth beehives for farmers.

Matthew explains that honey is normally collected from tree tops whereas the beehives are kept at ground level and are strong enough to prevent honey badgers raiding them. That allows both men and women to collect honey.

Matthew says: “I believe in helping people to help themselves, and getting lots of farmers capable of feeding themselves.

“We are teaching subsistence farmers to produce better crops.

“We are not talking about introducing Western agriculture, just more disease resistant plants, and that can make the difference between them being able to educate their children or not.

“It’s getting farmers to the point that food is secure and trying to get women involved in farming.”

Despite the hardships Matthew was impressed by the fact that Africa was “full of colour and singing”.

To mark the year since his visit to Tanzania, the ball will be held at the East of England showground. The evening will include a three-course African inspired menu and African entertainment as well as local band The Hound Dogs.

Email tickets@mudhutball.co.uk for tickets (£750 for table of ten) and deborah@naylorflowers.co.uk with donations for the charity auction to be held at the ball.