May 21, 2017
To help with the successful implementation of our Kanyawara community projects we visited the Kasiisi Farm to view successful models. This made us realize the potential of learning from similar successful projects. It’s not always necessary to re-invent the wheel if we can take the effective aspects of other projects and tweak them in ways that would play to the strengths of the community. It is at this point where ingenuity can be used to adapt to the community and ensure its sustainability and implementation. There is an excitement of creating something completely new, but in this instance, our excitement comes from learning from the successes of the Kasiisi project.
First, we saw a pig farm. Interestingly, the pig farm used a slanted floor as a cheap, effective way to keep the pigs safe and clean. Next we were shown the chicken pens. Here we encountered was the practice of clipping the birds’ beaks at a young age. The purpose of this behaviour is to keep hens from injuring each other or their eggs, which increases yield. Thirdly, the bees were of particular interest to us. Here we learned that to maximize productivity of limited amounts of farmland, it is beneficial to place beehives within existing plots of trees.
The Kasiisi Farm is a sustainable eco-farm. Here we saw how waste can be repurposed. For instance, if there is a leftover matooke peel it is not thrown out. Instead it is reused to support the growth of mushrooms. Similarly, food waste from the kitchen and the community is used to produce fertilizer, which is applied to the beds of the Russian Coffrey plant that support the development of yellow yolks in chicken eggs. In addition, the kitchen doesn’t just fuel the garden, the garden in turn fuels the pigs, and the pigs waste is used as biofuel that meets the energy needs of the farm. If the world could follow the Kasiisi Farm’s example, it would be a much greener place.
The Kasiisi Farm supports several important community projects. These projects include a mobile health clinic that provides health care services to community members. The projects are expensive and require support and steady funding. To ensure the sustainability of their services, the Kasiisi Farm is “closing the loop”, by raising and selling of chickens, pigs, and eggs, and then investing the profits in community projects. Many development projects inevitably fail because they cannot be sustained – the Kasiisi Farm seems to have found a way out of this vicious loop by closing it.
We are excited to utilize this knowledge from the Kasiisi Farm to realize our own community projects!