CAB Agriculture Project
CAB Swampland Cultivation
REPORT ON SWAMPLAND CULTIVATION FOR FOR INCOME GENERATION AND SUSTAINABILITY AT THE CAB NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE FOR THE BLIND
In fulfillment of its livelihood program and sustainability of the blind, CAB solicited funding from partners and philanthropists for its Income Generation Activity through Agriculture Value Chain Project to improve the food and nutrition of blind children at its national resource center located on the Monrovia Robertsfield Highway in Liberia. The agriculture and swampland development is expected to provide food for its school going age children, especially those pupils attending and benefiting from the association's education and rehabilitation program.
- Overview of work done:
Having received funding support from its partner, (Danish Association of the Blind), for the growing of vegetables and tuber crops to add to the food, nutrition of students and to bring to end the wide spread of hunger among school going kids on campus, CAB embarked on the cultivation of the swampland and contracted engineer to carryout construction of the wire fence.
The brushing of bushes in the swamp is successfully completed and wire fence constructed around the swampland parameter.
The turning over of the soil was done and soil layout in several plots. We later constructed the nursery table and planted vegetable seeds few days later to the vegetable plot field.
brought in seed rice which are now being transplanted into the lower belt of the swamp where the water rises during the rainy season
The method of irrigation is a strategy we adopted to ensure the continue flow of water into the swamp. To address this concern, we contracted the services of few other farmers who dug a water-way channel for drainage management and for controlling the in-flow of water in and out of the swampland.
Food Nutrition as a policy for Sustainability:
In Alignment with National policy and international convention, this agriculture program focuses mainly on two components one (vegetables and rice) which aims to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2 and 4.
We are cognizant of Goal one of the SDGs which called for an end to poverty in all its forms everywhere.
More emphasis is on count 1. of the SDG ensuring significant mobilization of resources from variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, to particular least developed countries, to implement programs and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture and
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
CAB considered SDGs 4 on the fact that children who are hungry will be unable to learn quality education. Thus SDGs 4 can only be achieved when goal 1 and 2 are achieved on poverty and food security.
CAB is also implementing this concept in line with the Liberia National agricultural development plan as enshrined in the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) pillar 2 subsection 3.4.1 which aims to" Increased agriculture production and productivity” and subsection 3.4.3 “Priority commodities for domestic food consumption.
The Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) 2018-2023 is a National Development Plan being implemented under the Liberia vision 2030 framework.
Summary of program for food security
This agriculture project seeks to address food and human nutrition with the assumption that an increased in food production will lead to greater food availability, access, and ultimately improved food intakes and diets.
Food is essential in that it provides vital nutrients for survival, and helps the body to function and stay healthy. Food is a fundamental right of all children if they are to succeed in their future endeavors through quality education. Food is comprised of micronutrients including protein, carbohydrate and fat that do not only offer calories to fuel the body and give it energy but play specific roles in maintaining health.
This program will also focus on nutrition-sensitive agriculture to convey the sense of maximizing nutrition outcomes, while minimizing the unintended negative nutritional consequences of agriculture and food interventions.
Detail Narrative of Project Implementation
Started March 21, 2022 with the withdrawing of the first amount for procurement of tools and materials to commence the clearing of swampland, made purchases of farming tools including boots, sand, crush crocks, mental poles and other related supplies for construction of wire fence. Invited Samson, Quaye for agricultural consultancy and supervision during the clearing of swampland.
Hired seven persons for the clearing of swampland. Lawrence Togar, a construction engineer was also hired to undertake construction of the wire fence around the swamp.
The bush clearing was done in five days and the contractors took three days off to restore energy. The few days break period, was to allow days of sunshine for the cultivated bush to dry. They resumed work later and set to task for the clearing. of the land. They made several stockpiled of the remnant which is being used for organic fertilizer for production of crops.
This was followed by the de-stubbing of the remaining woods. The farming contractors turned the soil over to prepare it for the planting of variety of vegetables. Different paddy bunds were established with walkways created around them. The walkways alongside the paddy bunds are for gardeners to navigate the swampland easily from north to south and from east to west and then to the center of the farm. Gardeners can water the crops, move seedlings from the nursery table to plant to the paddy bunds walking through the pathways. There are seeds that you will need to plant directly from the package.
Building of the paddy bunds was perhaps, the most difficult task of developing the swampland and preparing it for planting of crops. Similar tedious challenge was the experience faced by the construction engineer who along with those assisted him, had encountered$. They dug several holes around the land parameter of the swampland and a total of 80 mental poles were acquired which the engineer planted and cast with cement.
During construction of the wire fence, management of CAB spent time negotiating with neighboring community inhabitants appealing with them to relinquish portion of land that they had illegally occupied for sometimes now, which belong to the association. This dialogue with community members took the administration of CAB several days to conclude and we finally succeeded in driving them away from the swampland, as many were reluctant to vacate the land; and having been forewarned that the CAB leadership would bring in the state land surveyor which would have had some dire consequences for claiming land that did not belong to them. We however, avoided the action of bring in state surveyor, because negotiations with community inhabitants bordering the swampland were concluded peaceably and we can now confidently say that CAB has regained full control of the land property, portion of which was previously not being utilized by the association, and community dwellers eventually would have taken it as their own, owing to the law of adverse possession.
The wire fence around the swampland parameter, is value added to increase production of vegetable and tuber crops to address the critical food nutrition needs of students of the CAB Center for the Blind and sustain it for food security to improve the quality of life for them.
Building of mental wire has extended CAB leadership administration further south, in the swamp towards the Atlantic Ocean. Our possession of the property places us in full control of the meets and bounce and we have now established the territorial boundaries of the land. This new development seems to have mitigated potential land crisis for the organization.
The construction of the nursery is part of the swampland development for growing plants which are later transferred to the paddy bunds where they gain stronger roots, become mature and collected during the harvest season. The nursery was built containing several compartments to accommodate variety of seedlings that few days thereafter, are planted on the main swampland.
Seeds and other crops that we have now planted include:
- Collard Greens;
- Potatoes leaves. All of these falls in the category of vegetables.
We are now preparing to grow seed rice which is a crop that can grow much better in the wet part of the swamp, especially during the rainy season when the stream of water rises at the lower belt of the swamp. The plantation of tuber crops at the upper part of the swamp includes plantain and banana succors, eddoes, sweet potatoes which constitute the variety of tuber crops that are currently being planted.
The month of September, will usher in the dry season and we will resume the planting of vegetables and tuber crops.
Our next move is to scout out for a farm care-taker whom the project will hire to carry out the day-to-day management of the farmland.
Chemicals intended for use in the swamp are especially during the outbreak of pesticides and treatment of plant diseases that threaten soil fertility or undermine quality production of vegetables.
below, we have listed some agrochemicals for your review and advice. Please give your feedback regarding the applications of these treatments.
Kindly note that the list provided below are for treatment of diseases and prevention of pesticides. COMBINING animal menu and plant decomposed are organic products that will be used as fertilizers for the growing of vegetable and tuber crops.
Persuading community inhabitants to vacate the swamp was the initial challenge we face during the cultivation of the land. It took us many days of community members engagement to enable the organization to take full possession of the property as this was necessary to avert future land crisis.
The second challenge we experienced was the Inflection on goods and services resulting from the Global Market: (the high cost of fuel and gasoline ). This was in wake of the procurement of the mental poles, the cost of which increased by 3 percent. Similar price height was experienced during the purchases of the fence wire which was higher than the price previously established from the local suppliers. We instead, substituted the green wire fence with the white color of wire.
The daily feeding of the different farm contractors, added to the challenges of the land cultivation. We did not feel that the feeding of these workers was necessary to assume, since they had agreed to be hired to brush the bush and layout the swampland and later be compensated for the job.
We however, consented rather Reluctantly as we understood it to be an incentive to the work force and another way of giving boost to the job, thus ensuring efficiency and for workers to deliver promptly and on time.