Dear friends and partners,
After taking another chance we are seeing some change happening.
We have been working hard on the ground to ensure we can get better, sustained and higher returns on the project. In February we reported that we will plant corriander and tomatoes. We did plant the tomatoes but went one step further.
The following sre snapshots of the progress we have made so far:-
1. Electric Pump Repairs:- Towards the end of November 2012 the submersible pump used to irrigate the green house broke down due to a short circuit caused by water leaking into the wiring system. We managed to repair and rewire the system to house the switch in a place where it is not exposed to rain
The wiring also included an AVS switch that would regulate the electric current flows
2. Replanting Green house with capsicum: With the water pump sytsem in place we planted green pepper (capsicum) so that we would be able to get better returns over a shorter period of time. We also planted corriander in betwen the capsicum rows. This will ensure early returns to cover for costs early. Corriander is a high value crop and a bunch of 10 stems would sell for 30/=. Capsicum is also high value and a small sized piece would sell at a market price of 10/= a piece. We expect to have much more tthan small sizes when we begin to harvest in October.
The greenhouse has a capacity of 200 plants each capable of producing over a 100 fruit during the entire season
3. Increased Student participation: Our casual worker left work in December. This set us back almost three months. The positive result of this is that more students in the school have taken ownership of the project and are actively participating in its routine maintainance. This will also save us in terms of labour costs. 6 students have shown a keen interset in farming and this is a positive result for us
3. Agri skills development and mentorship among students: With increased student participation, there has been more organized passing of agronomy skills and record keeping to the students. This is equipping them with a resilient character. They are developing responsibility. Currently we have students being motivated to take up modern farming as serious livelihood option. One of the students keeps pushing for the rabbit project to start and this is great initiative and accountability.
We want to thank you for making this possible and encourage more recurrent donations so we can hit the $300 a month mark. The gains we are making with the students are worth the effort in keeping students motivated and passionate about school.
We are in the process of reassessing our termly assessments and performance to take into consideration students who might be academically weak but have shown great progress in out of class activities like the greenhouse management. We hope this strategy would keep such students eager to learn more in science or mathematics as we work on helping them transfer skills learnt in the project into the classroom.
We are however reworking our cashflows to harmonise so we can get into sustainability by the end of this season.
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