Pcv 5 May 2009

Post: Kerou
Pick-up Location: Cotonou

Brief Project Description:

The distribution of Moringa seeds to a locally organized women's gardening group for the cultivation of moringa trees. The trees will be harvested to produce the following marketable and profitable moringa products: powder, seeds, pods, roots, and oil.

In the initial stages of this project the women are learning the correct techniques for planting moringa seeds in small plastic bags to further germinate baby trees: plastic bags and seeds have been distributed, and demonstrations for proper planting and care have been provided.

An initial positive reaction and interest has spread through the group, so the demand for seeds and plastic bags is growing. In an effort to maintain both moringa distribution and participant interest, watering cans will go to two women who, after a specified period of time, display the largest quantity of healthy moringa plants. The watering cans are an immediately tangible reward in exchange for good moringa care, and will also be used for the vegetable gardens of which the women are responsible. GAD funding would provide for the following:

100 small, black, plastic bags.
2 watering cans

Dates of Project: March 2009 – End of July 2009
Number of People Involved: 40+ Women
Though the gardening group consists of 60+ women, attendance is sporadic. The terms of the competition will stipulate that those in attendance on a given date of which they women choose for seed and plastic bag distribution, will be those who qualify for entry. Approximately 40 women are typically present for group meetings.
Budget:

Item Number Unit Price Total Cost
Small plastic bags 2 packets 3.000 CFA 6.000 CFA
Watering cans 2 12.000 CFA 24.000 CFA
Total Cost 30.000 CFA

Amount Requested: 30.000 CFA

Comments

GAD Coordinator: Sounds like a great project. Recommend funding.
GAD Finance: Maria, do you think that the idea of a competition might cause problems within the group itself? If not, I think this sounds like a great project.
GAD Specialist: No, I don’t think the idea will cause problems as long as the rules are clearly explained and it’s done in a transparent way. This might motivate them to do what is right. Recommend funding.

GAD Coordinator Update: I accidentally put Karina on the list for Parakou instead of for Cotonou; Karina said she is coming through Parakou tomorrow (the 20th) so she will just pick it up then.

Closing Report

Date(s) of Project: March 2009 – End of July 2009

Brief Description of Project: The distribution of Moringa seeds to a locally organized women's gardening group for the cultivation of moringa trees. The trees will be harvested to produce the following marketable and profitable moringa products: powder, seeds, pods, roots, and oil.

In the initial stages of this project the women are learning correct techniques for planting moringa seeds in small plastic bags to further germinate baby trees: plastic bags and seeds have been distributed, and demonstrations for proper planting and care have been provided.

An initial positive reaction and interest has spread through the group, so the demand for seeds and plastic bags is growing. In an effort to maintain both moringa distribution and participant interest, watering cans will go to two women who, after a specified period of time, display the largest quantity of healthy moringa plants. The watering cans are an immediately tangible reward in exchange for good moringa care, and will also be used for the vegetable gardens of which the women are responsible. GAD funding would provide for the following:

  • 100 small, black, plastic bags.
  • 2 watering cans

Number of People Involved and Age Range: 40+ Women

Though the gardening group consists of 60+ women, attendance is sporadic. The terms of the competition will stipulate that those in attendance on a given date of which they women choose for seed and plastic bag distribution, will be those who qualify for entry. Approximately 40 women are typically present for group meetings.

What Were the Goals/Objectives of This Project?
To motivate women gardener's to participate in the planting and cultivation of moringa trees through the means of gardening tool 'prizes' - wateringcans given to the women who plant and support the greatest number of moringa seedlings. In doing so, women gardeners were given the opportunity to learn about the moringa tree from the start of planting the seed

Were Those Goals/Objectives Met?
Yes. The women have developed a growing interest in moringa propagation. Together we planted over 100 seeds in black plastic bags and have 60 baby trees to show for the work. We have designated a small plot of land on the garden grounds to begin a small moringa field, the leaves of which will be used for powder production and distribution by the women of the group.

What Were the Strengths of This Project?
Introducing a new item to the locals was tremendously difficult but their acceptance in the end was empowering. Seeing people take an interest in an idea of which they'd initially dismissed creates an understanding and appreciation for persistence. I learned several weeks into the project that moringa already exists in Kerou, but the locals are unaware of it's value. Since then through word of mouth mostly, people are appreciating the tree's nutrition and information is spreading.

What Were the Challenges/Weaknesses of This Project?
Finding ways to integrate the women's collaboration without the help of thier disinterested 'group leader' proved to be a challenge. They had a hard time understanding why the bags and watering cans could b=not be 'just given to them' without the effort of planting the seeds. As only two or three o the group understand French, teaching them the correct environmental conditions for the seeds growth was exhausting; explaining the goals of the project in a group meeting only proved easy after jumping hurdles to get all women to meet at one place and time. Typical Beninese problems us volunteers encounter.

Do You Consider This Project Completed (Please Check One): YES

Budget:

Item Number Cost
Small Plastic Bags 2 packets 3,000 CFA per unit
Watering cans 2 wateringcans 12,000 CFA per unit
Total 30.000 cfa
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License