This reporting period of project implementation, 117 families received 117 cows and 211 families received 633 goats. After receiving all mandatory trainings, SHG members are practicing saving and credit. A remarkable achievement during this period was the establishment of milk cooperative: all 117 families who received cows, are now linked with Mithila Milk Union Ltd (Sudha dairy). At present around 140 to 150 litres of milk/day is being collected by the cooperative. Now group members are earning around Rs.100 to Rs.150 per/day through selling milk.
Before joining Heifer groups, women members were living in very pitiable condition. Their economic condition was very bad and they were not respected by male members of their family. But after joining Heifer project, their lives have changed. The women are now able to ensure gender equity within their families. They are now working for economic development of family and also nutritional improvement of their children. As a result, domestic violence and malnutrition have decreased. Women have been empowered to take decision in both household level and village level. Heifers trainings has created awareness and sensitized women towards being decisive. Positive thinking of members have brought encouraging changes in family lives.
People of nearby villages also showing interest in our activities and some villagers came forwards to join hands with us. Heifers trainings have influenced others in the community many families, outside the participating families, also follows the values of 12 cornerstones in their lives.
Project families have earned from NPR 40,000 to 100,000 each as the semi-annual income during this reporting period. Some of the SHG members of earned up to NPR 50,000 from tomatoes cultivation by applying organic vegetable farming techniques. Further, 60 improved toilets have been constructed and are being used properly.After receiving different slots of the trainings, communities members have maintained social harmony being united and supporting each other. Similarly, project families have cultivated vegetables by using organic manures and have been consuming fresh vegetables daily. It has supported them to be healthy. Besides, they have applied improved animal management technology. Discrimination based on caste, race, gender and religion has remarkably reduced. Community members appreciate each other’s feelings, thoughts and ideas and share for betterment of themselves.Increased group leadership has come up with increased and effective coordination and collaboration with different stakeholders for different developmental activities. Increased awareness about the sanitation, health and hygiene has supported to undertake sanitation campaigns, keep the surroundings neat and clean. 11 SHGs out of 12 have constructed their own community buildings and have also constructed 3 drinking water tanks and taps.
This report will serve as the final report for this project. Elanco Animal Health will be providing funds to cover the remaining costs of the project...thanks to all for your donations and support. Please visit www.heifer.org for more information.
Comparative Experiment Improves Farmer’s Methodology
Yangebai Township in Weichang County lies between the Yanshan Mountains and the Mongolia Plateau. Year after year, its villagers save money to buy cattle and raise them in the local hills. However, mass animal husbandry threatens desertification and decreases available grazing land. Heavy rains have eroded the hillsides and blocked cattle trails, leaving small-scale farmers in a harsh cycle of poverty. Heifer International introduced in-barn cattle breeding technology and taught villagers how the environmentally friendly method could produce higher profits. Yet, the majority of farmers were unwilling to invest the labor required to build new breeding barns. By conducting comparative experiments, Heifer China transformed farmers’ opinions on the newly introduced breeding method. Three demonstration farms were established with 10 cows each. Cattle from the first farm were kept in an unheated barn and fed through traditional grazing. The second farm used a heated barn, still used traditional grazing. Cattle at the third farm were kept in a heated barn and fed nutrient rich silage. Data recorded from January 1 to March 30, 2013 confirmed in-barn breeding produced healthier cattle. Cattle without heated barns lost 25 to 42kg (about 55 to 93 pounds) in 150 days. Heated barns and silage helped cattle gain up to 1.2kg (about 3 pounds) per day. The experiment helped farmers understand the function of heated barns and silage and eliminated farmers' worries about investing in new barns. In the spring of 2013, project participants planted 542 mu (about 90 acres) of silage corn, which was tenfold over production in 2012. During the summer, 360 project participants collectively built a new barn and began transitioning from traditional methods to in-barn breeding. This eased the threat of hillside desertification and improved livestock living conditions. The community also executed a desertification prevention plan. Participants planted grass on 250 mu (about 41 acres) of desertified hills to repair damage from erosion and over-grazing. Now, participants can restore hillside ecology and transform small-scale farmer’s socioeconomic status through improved cattle breeding.