Bringing Agro-education to our Community
This grant will support a goat raising project with the expressed goal of supplementing the diet of the students and staff. Currently, the students maintain the school garden supplying potato and cassava greens, but during the rainy season the students often go without protein in their diet for weeks due to transportation issues. Having a supply of goat meat would be an easy solution to the food variety problem. The students and staff would be responsible for maintaining the goats and selling some animals to assure survivability of the project. The school has the land and maintenance staff to build the shed and fence. It is envisioned that the goats would be the first livestock project which would eventually include chickens. An agriculture component added to the curriculum is a future development that is planned once the infrastructure is in place, and improved student health through diet diversity will be an immediate improvement to the living status of the students of a rural teacher’s training institute.
This year was a particularly long rainy season, and the school ran out of chocolate milk, wheat, hog back strap, canned meat and rice. The students ate two meals a day of “dry” rice for approximately four weeks. During several discussions with students and teachers, they repeatedly appeared for help in this direction and they agreed to get engage in raising chickens and goats to diversify the food offerings at the institute. Following that, the maintenance department of the institution helped designed the physical structure necessary for the project and provided the equipment list and cost estimates. The maintenance department will also be responsible of producing the lumber and building of the coop, Maintenance and security will tend to the chickens when school is not in session, but students will oversee the project during the school year. The school’s accounting staff will handle the funds for the project and oversee the selling of eggs and the purchase of supplies. As a result of the institution's willingness to implement this project, they have agreed to provide land space, labor, sticks, planks and other local materials for the fencing of the land.
Since the institute will be able to sell excess goats during school breaks to staff and the community there will be income generated as a byproduct of this project. This income will be folded back into the maintenance and upkeep of the herd. Because there are personnel working at the school year round and the accounting staff are permanent there should be no disruption in goat production and sales during off school periods. As every cohort of students will be trained with the aim of taking with them knowledge gained on goats and chicken raising into their respective communities of service, the project will be sustained as the idea will be eventually shared across the country.