Our main activity in Rwanda for May 2019 was to sell the basic utility vehicle (BUV) which Tools for Hope, Inc. (TFH) bought in December 2107 through the Institute for Affordable Transportation (IAT). The BUV has been our primary challenge for the past year as the BUV was not working in our area and the farmers complained about its safety. Frank and the farmers successfully concluded the sale of the BUV.
Tools for Hope had the opportunity in May to announce collaboration with a major new project sponsored by the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB). Under the CARAVAN project the RAB will conduct soil testing services for small-holder farmers. We will link our farmers with this project. (The CARAVAN project will provide a mobile soil laboratory – http://rwandainspirer.com/2019/05/07/caravan-a-mobile-soil-testing-laboratory-project-to-improve-farm-productivity/). Testing will start in a few months. The purpose is to test Rwandan soil so that farmers would have the knowledge of their soil fertility status and know how to apply the right fertilizers at the right amount(s).
Frank has been conducting meetings with the Twisungane cooperative farmers’ representatives to discuss plans for new projects and how to continue working with them. With the successful sale of the BUV, TFH was able to fund the purchase of a suitable laptop computer to help with Frank’s work aiding the farmers.
BUV Transportation and Sale
As directed and authorized by Tool For Hope, Inc. (USA), after the completion of negotiations with the institute for Affordable Transportation (USA) we sold the BUV to the NOVA Farm which is in the Rukara Sector of the Kayonza District. After TFH agreed to sell the BUV to NOVA Farm, the next steps were to ensure the operability of the BUV, and then to transport the BUV to their area.
In checking the operational status of the BUV, we found the BUV did not work as expected. We brought in a mechanic who looked at the BUV and found some problems in the wiring system and the battery as well because the BUV was inactive for quite some time. So, we had to wait for some time for the necessary repairs to be completed.
The BUV was kept in the mountains and during this rainy season it was very dangerous to transport anything heavy. So, we waited for the rainfall to slow down to be able to begin the transportation phase.
On Friday 10th May 2019, early in the morning (6:00 am) we went ahead with our plan of transporting the BUV, from Bugesera District to Kayonza District (62 miles +). Although the team faced heavy rainfall after they loaded the BUV onto the transport-truck, they couldn’t stop and so they continued, but took precautions and they moved at low speeds with great caution. Around noon they reached their destination and found the staff of NOVA Farm waiting for the BUV.
Frank transferred the BUV to them (Nate and Chantal), and gave them all the documents. Frank successfully completed the sale for TFH. TFH delivered a BUV in good working order with all documentation required to NOVA Farm. Frank returned to his home in Kigali around 5 PM. The activity went as planned and the BUV in now in the hands of NOVA Farm management.
Land Preparation and Soil Testing Plans
In May the farmers were preparing their lands for season ‘C’ activities. During this season farming activities normally happen only in marshland areas, were there is water. The period encompassing June, July, and August (JJA) is known as the drought season. Farmers (e.g. the Twisungane cooperative farmers) who are near a source of water and who can afford irrigation can prepare their lands for the JJA season. It is a short and very complicated season that requires the farmers to take precautions on how to deal with the drought stress on the crops.
It is very important to know the type of crops that can sustain these stresses. We are encouraging them to plant crops that have a short growing period of not more than 90 days, vegetables such as beans and other crops that do not need a great deal of water.
We also expect that the information about the soil fertility we receive from the CARAVAN project tests will be very helpful. That information should help the farmers with selecting and applying fertilizers for the crops,
Support Tools for Hope’s Mission
Donate today to fund future projects and to fund other TFH needs such as Frank’s salary. Monthly donations made through PayPal are very helpful in that they help us to plan and budget Tools for Hope operations better. See the donate ‘button’ on our website http://www.toolsforhope.org/. (for 10 more good reasons to donate see https://www.moneycrashers.com/benefits-charitable-giving-donations/)
To our current supporters – Thank You Very Much!