Vroegindewey September 2008

Name: Ryan Vroegindewey
Post: Nikki
Date Submitted: 25 August 2008
Contact Information: 98 39 65 35
Pick up Location: Parakou
Project Description: Groupement Gardens. Goal of project is to provide the basic materials and technical skill to two Nikki groupements so that they can cultivate gardens during the Harmattan. This will provide groupement families with nutritious foods during the dry season, in addition to optional additional household revenue if the women choose to allocate some of the crops as sales to the local marchée.
Dates of Project: Following is the proposed timeline of components for this project:
- Completed: Community Contribution: ½ hectare of land given as a concession by Nikki Centre de Promotion Sociale, in addition to unlimited free usage of Center’s robinet water.
- September: Fence and Elaboration. The building of an impermeable cloture by local workers to keep out goats and others (attempted garden was unsuccessful last year due to the entry of destructive animals). Women and local volunteers will elaborate the land together. Seeds will be purchased from Parakou.
- October: Training and Gardening. Local farmer-gardener has offered to form women in gardening skills, free of charge. Volunteer will also lead a demonstration on compost making and usage, garden nutrition, and garden marketing (local consumer markers, setting prices, competition, etc.)
Number of People Involved: Directly (Les Directions des 4 Groupements): About 12 Indirectly (transfer of knowledge to all groupement women): About 120
Budget:

Item Number Cost
Cloture: Estimation Discutée for Manual Labor and Material (Wood and Nails) to enclose one ¼ hectare parcel. - 18.000 F = price inclusive of labor & materials for each ¼ h - Two ¼ parcels (one for each groupement). 36.000
Carrot Seeds 4 Packets x 800 CFA/p 3.200
Lettuce Seeds 4 Packets x 800 CFA/p 3.200
Cabbage Seeds 2 Packets x 1700 CFA/p 3.400
Potatoes 2 “mésures” x 500 CFA/m 1.000
Cucumber Seeds 2 Packets x 800 CFA/p 1.600
Manual Labor for Elaboration, Technical Training, Land, Water Usage Free – Community Contributions 0
Total 48.400

Amount Requested: 48.400 CFA

Comments

GAD Coordinator Comments: I like this project because of the extensive level of community contribution, and because I think this is a good way to introduce accounting and SED-type concepts in a non-traditional way. Good for Ryan for trying something other than accounting for illiterates. Recommend Approval.

Financial Chair Comments: This sincerely looks like a great project, and is very complete. I agree that it is a creative mode of SED concepts, and I like that it focuses very much on women’s empowerment. Also, good breakdown of the budget. Recommend funding.

GAD Specialist Comments: I agree with both of you. However, I’ll suggest that you ask PCVs to write in English and not Franglais. It shows professionalism and seriousness when it’s written in proper English. This is a message you might want to give at the next GAD meeting.

Closing Report

Name: Ryan Vroegindewey
Post: Nikki
Dates of Project: September – October 2008
Project Report: This project’s main objective was to provide two women’s groupements with the basic materials and technical skills to begin a garden. The benefits of such gardens during the harmattan would include a source of both nutritious food and household income for groupement families. Last year one groupement attempted such a garden, but without success due to ranging animals that would enter the garden’s concession and eat the plants.

To realize this project, local labor was hired to a enclose the garden with a wooden to keep animals out. This same labor then cleared the garden of the thick weeds and other plants that covered the parcel. Afterwards the women cleared the weeds and deposed them into piles for composting. A local gardener assisted the women with technical aspects of gardening, in planning the layout of the garden, in demarking the beds, and in starting the plant nurseries. Volunteer gave advice on marketing garden products, accounting, and composting.

A couple unforeseen problems confronted this project, which probably could have been anticipated had all parties involved in the project more thoroughly talked the project steps through. At the beginning of project it quickly became obvious that beginning a garden wasn’t feasible for one the two target groupements, as the members realized that they were too distanced from the garden location and decided that they were too busy anyways. Another problem was that the local labor at first did not build the fence strong enough and furthermore charged too much for their labor. Workers did return to a couple times to re-enforce fence, but the groupement will likely have to make some repairs and reinforcements later on, especially when the wooden fence pieces dry/warp and begin to separate. Another unforeseen obstacle involved the water supply. After the project’s commencement the Responsible of La Centre de Promotion Sociele (where garden is located) began waffling on his “promise” to let the women use the center’s robinet water free of charge. It was further realized how expensive it would be watering a garden from such a source if the groupement were to pay. The women’s group ostensibly solved this problem by identifying a nearby water pump where they can get water free of charge, and by committing themselves to the work necessary to transporting water the short distance twice a day to feed the garden.

Despite certain setbacks a ¼ acre garden space has been successfully set up for the groupement of Kpaoussi, Nikki. One of the successes of this project has been the community support offered by La Centre de Promotion Sociele, who offered the parcel for the garden free of charge, and the generous time and expertise freely given by Monsieur Chabi, one of Nikki’s most successful gardeners/gardener-entrepreneurs. The groupement women appear especially appreciative of a second chance to try gardening, and at least 10 of this Shea Butter groupements members appear motivated and involved enough to continue with the maintenance. This dry season, these ladies plan to cultivate carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, gumbo, legume, onions, and piment in twenty-six 1½ x 7 meter beds. If successfully successful their garden could be one of Nikki’s largest vegetable gardens, its produce providing plenty of nutrition for the groupement families and/or bringing in revenue of 2000 CFA to 4000 CFA per bed, every three months or so.

Budget:

Item Unit Price (CFA) Quantity Total Cost (CFA)
Labor
Fence 18.000/ ¼ hect. 1 18.000
Sarclage 4.000/ ¼ hect. 1 4.000
Seeds
Carrots 500/ pack 3 1.500
Lettuce 700/pack 6 4.200
Tomatoes 700/pack 2 1.400
Cabbage 700/pack 2 1.400
Onions 700/pack 2 1.400
Miscellaneous
Chord (to demark beds) 1.250/1000m 5 5.000
Nails (for fence) 900/package 3 2.700

Actual Total: 39,600 CFA
Budgeted Total: 48.400 CFA
Difference Returned: 8.800 CFA

Note: Ryan returned funds to GAD Coordinator, who deposited cash in the Parakou workstation.

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