Remera Community's Potato Farming Project
Project Launch: 1/17/17
Remera is composed of 143 households. The limited arable land, situated upon rocky soil, cannot effectively support the population leading to food insecurity. Most community members do not possess an adequate amount of land to feed their families and as a result are only able to eat once a day or once every two days. Due to these challenges, the community has decided start a community potato farming project. This project will provide funds the community will use to purchase additional nearby viable land, potato seeds, and manure. With increased health and household income generated from potato harvesting, the community will set itself on the path to pursue other development initiatives and increase quality of life.
Final Report: 6/6/17
In December 2016, the Remera community harvested 5,738 kilograms of potatoes. The potatoes were split into three sections: one meant to sell and cultivate seeds from, one meant for consumption, and one meant for funding community items. The community has been able to rent two parcels of land, currently being used for potato cultivation. In February 2017, the community started a savings and loan association whereby every community member pays 500 francs (about $0.60) per month. Community members are using loans to meet some of their basic needs such as paying health insurance, school fees, and other critical household materials. The loans will also help community members initiate communal independent projects. Seasonal challenges, such as drought, led to a difficult first potato cultivation season. However, the wheat harvests and second potato harvest were both successes, enabling the community to keep working on the project with the two parcels of land being used by the community now. The project met its goals of food security and increased community cohesion, capacity and advocacy within the local government. The community harvested about 6 tons, allowing feasible future crop growing. Furthermore, they can now store their own high quality seeds, creating future resources for the community in times of risk. Now, 70% of community members eat twice per day, compared to a baseline of 30%.
“We can now do proper financial management from the money generated from the sales profit and we are able save into SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative Society). Currently we bought 68 livestock and we get manure to increase the yield and the grant we received is still being well managed. One of the biggest success is that we managed to register as a cooperative.”
– Appollinaire, Project Leader
“We learned to prepare a balanced diet. I have received a sheep and can now save 500 Rwfs each month. I no longer worry of not getting money to solve the urgent matter.”
– Cyprien, Project Participant
“We were in extreme poverty, but after, each community member has a sheep. Most importantly, we got to learn how professional agriculture is done through acquired skills and supply a good quantity at the market. I was able to learn how to run saving groups without creating conflicts. In general, I feel very confident that I can achieve more with the skills I got.”
– Jean, Project Participant
“I have now a sheep and monthly savings. I always pay health insurance on time, and I can now work within a group of many people and have no conflicts.”
– Elie, Project Participant
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