Project will assist over 1000 families (400 with an initial gift of livestock, 608 through Heifer's Pass on the Gift model) in Weichang County, China. Area is characterized by barren land, a cold climate, and a short growing period. Farmers suffer from severe malnutrition largely due to lack of meat and fresh vegetables in their diet. Within five years the project communities will have improved nutrition, an environmentally sustainable beef-cattle industry, and improved farming techniques.
Project communities have the following problems: most cultivated land is on barren slopes, climate is cold, short growth period of 90-105 days, severe malnutrition (meat only once/month, fresh fruit/veg only 5 months/year), high blood pressure (directly linked to lack of fresh fruit/veg), fragile environment (natural vegetation coverage decreasing, biodiversity decreasing, deforestation, soil erosion), and lack of funds to buy breeding cattle (60% of villagers would raise cattle if they could).
Project will provide communities with fine breeding cattle, intensive training in environmentally sustainable animal management and farming techniques, and education in environmental conservation and management. Heifer's approach begins with the building of Self-help Groups (SHGs) in target communities that enable full community participation and joint decision-making. This improves person leadership and participatory management.
Within five years, the project communities will have improved the environment and their environment facilities, achieved higher household income through establishing an environment-friendly beef-cattle industry, and achieved better nutrition through better farming knowledge and technology.