Solving More Food Security Problems
In a previous letter we discussed how Tools For Hope (TFH) had improved the subsistence farmers’ crop production. Working with our mentor (Frank Mutesa) the Twisungane cooperative of subsistence farmers managed to learn and implement much better agricultural, administrative, and business systems. For example, we helped them acquire irrigation equipment which helped their agricultural production, such that on 0.99 acres they used to get only 220 pounds of produce but after getting the irrigation equipment and the technical support from TFH, they are now over getting 2 tons of produce.
Recently Frank Matuesa has been giving technical assistance on how to harvest using proper methodologies. Farmers have in the past faced massive losses during harvest as a result of lack of appropriate knowledge of harvesting procedures and processes. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 40% of the agricultural yield is lost during harvesting time. This is a huge loss to subsistence farmers.
The principal reasons are, lack of knowledge, insufficient or improper facilities for harvesting, and inadequate post-harvest handling management and methodology.
Because of their deficient knowledge and insufficient and unsatisfactory equipment for harvesting, farmers required more information and knowledge on how best to harvest their crops. Frank and Tools For Hope undertook the responsibility for giving them the necessary support and technical assistance to solve this problem.
We showed them how to start preparing for proper harvesting before they started planting. For example, for corn they should first prepare a place to keep the corn for drying purposes (i.e., in a hangar), prepare proper and clean transport sacks (minimize mold and insect infestations), and plan for the equipment needed to remove kernels from the corn cobs.
Additionally, we trained the farmers in determining the right time for harvesting corn. We provided them with a moisture meter which Frank borrowed from the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB), to measure moisture content of kernels. The correct moisture percentage of water must be below 14% for the (manual) harvesting process to begin. The farmers plan to find and buy their own such equipment in the future.
The way forward
TFH has also identified other groups of farmers who are familiar with our work through the communication with Twisungane farmers, and they have been requesting us to give them the with their agricultural activities.
Please consider donating to help more subsistence farmers in the areas around the Twisungane farmers improve their food security.
- TFH continues to be very effective and efficient in resolving issues
- very small overhead, targeted recipients, clearly identified problem and solutions that work, on-going training and support, recipient dignity self-sufficiency,
- Our employee in Rwanda (Frank Mutesa) mentors and coaches those farmers on making improvements to their farming methods.
- Our target fundraising amount for the year is $25,000.
- Donations to TFH are tax deductible
- The TFH website (http://www.toolsforhope.org/) has a PayPal donate button that donors may use to make one-time donations or to set up small monthly donations.
You may mail donations to Tools for Hope Inc., 1540 Robinson Rd, Knoxville, TN 37923.