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.
Since project implementation, Heifer Zambia has reached 8,510 families (2,300 more than planned) and 23 institutions in the target communities of the Masaiti, Mpongwe, Luanshya and Kalulushi districts. The project continues intervention activities to improve participant’s skills and knowledge in integrated agriculture, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation practices. Local institutions have also adopted these practices through the support of community leaders.During this reporting period, 379 families have been supported with draft cattle, dairy cattle and meat goats. Ninety vegetable packs were provided and 8,066 participants were trained in human nutrition, agroforestry, conservation farming and water and sanitation activities. Trading, gardening and farming have improved the incomes and livelihoods of numerous families. Farm families were able to hire labor and acquire production assets such as land, livestock, bicycles and ox carts. Project participants also bought iron roofing sheets, beddings, mattresses and solar panels for their homes.