Cyasenge Community's Cow Rearing Project
Project Launch: 1/17/17
Cyasenge is composed of 164 households totaling 725 people. The community lacks clean water, electricity, and access to a health clinic due in part to its location 10 kilometers away from the nearest main road. As with many communities in hilly Rwanda, soil erosion is a constant threat to farms and undermines food security. The Cyasenge community determined that its most important goal is to eliminate food insecurity. This cattle-rearing project will provide an alternative source of income as well manure that will increase local agricultural yields, thereby, boosting food security. The project calls for the purchase of 30 cows and all the necessary supplies to keep them safe and healthy: pen construction materials, a means of transporting grass and water to them, tablets and injections, and extra money in case a veterinary visit proves needed.
Final Report: 6/6/17
60 households are now rearing cows, enabling 60 families to use manure and grow gardens. Four spark cows have given birth and there are ten pregnant cows. One of the cows was replaced, and the community members contributed personal money to buy another one. The community also initiated a savings group where every community member pays 1000 francs (about $1.21) per month. To date, the savings have been used to independently buy 30 sheep for community members. Due to the project, crop harvest increased for all thirty families who received cows and forty families who were given sheep. This is due to the increased access to manure in the community. There are currently 78 cows in the community. As a result, there are no longer diseases related to malnutrition. In the future, the cow rearing is expected to become more established and every community member is projected to have a cow; when this occurs, the community will be able to sell some of the cows to increase their land.
“It’s been surprising to me to see the historically marginalized people working together with the rest of the group members in Cyasenge. Four of them were given cows and attend the meetings whereby they are also given an opportunity to express their ideas just like the rest of the groups. Cyasenge is also working on sheep rearing as their independent project so that even people who did not get the cows should be getting something to help them have access to manure.”
– Eric, Field Partner
“Spark has equipped me with project planning and management skills. With the cows, community members have been able to get manure, which they are using to fertilize their gardens. This has led to increased land productivity. We are also drinking milk from the cows that have already given birth.”
– Anastase, Project Participant
“My crop yield has increased because I am using manure in my fields and I am now able to eat twice per day. I also made a kitchen garden.”
– Alphonsine, Project Participant
“We have got a lot of skills through the process such as how to build a good cowshed, project planning, and the importance of practicing improved cow rearing methods. Ever since we reared the cows, our crop yield has increased because we are using cow dung to fertilize our gardens.”
– Augustin, Project Participant
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