Thank you to everyone who supported us and helped make the trip possible. Thank you also to everyone who prayed for our safety while we were away.
While visiting with the group leadership, Samuel the group leader, shared with us that his youngest son was sick with a case of malaria. Thankfully, he was able to see a doctor and get the appropriate medications. In 2017 we saw sustained growth in the farming output that has allowed parents to afford healthcare. This together with the field training provided by our employee (Frank), has allowed the farming group to sustain their growth and better provide for their families.
We are looking to further help farmers diversify their incomes and continue to mechanize their farming activities.
While in Rwanda we got some great feedback from farmers on where they would like to see more growth in 2018
Some of our shared goals for 2018 include:
- Encouraging a savings culture: now that most farmers have checking and savings accounts. We will encourage farmers to save more of their incomes.
- Exploring the possibility of using a rife ram pump. Preliminary research show that this might be a possible solution for the future. We will be sharing more about this in the future. More information here.
- Food preservation methods for farmers to further reduce food waste.
- Find better option for seed and fertilizer supply by communicating with the government and suppliers to find better options.
- Get BUV classified for Agricultural use by the government so more farmers can have access to affordable farm to market transportation.
BUV arrived safely in Rwanda
The BUV traveled safely from Arusha, Tanzania to Kigali, Rwanda. We had some unexpected transportation costs that we were thankfully able to cover.
Getting the BUV classified for agricultural use
We are currently working with government officials to have the BUV correctly classified as agricultural equipment and have the appropriate traffic regulations set up. This step is particularly important to the future of the BUV because this would allow farmers across Rwanda to have access to affordable farm to market transportation.
We believe utility vehicles are the future of affordable transportation in rural Africa
With the low price tag and rugged features, we believe utility vehicles are the future of farm to market transportation in rural Rwanda and Africa in general.
Once the vehicle is classified and released, we will begin field testing to establish viability and safety. There is still a long way to go before farmers across the country can have BUVs for transportation but we have made great achievements towards that goal.
Farmers are adopting more efficient farming methods
We had a great trip to Rwanda. We were able to visit the farms once again and see the incredible year over year progress. We also spoke to group members about the past year and how their goals for 2018.
We are encouraged by the optimism we see and we look forward to build on that. The continual adoption of modern and more efficient farming practices has allowed the farmers to reduce their losses and improve margins.
One of the outcomes of this growth was an additional classroom at the local primary school that was built in 2017.