What impact have you had?
Our current nutrition program features moringa oleifera and stenopatela as homestead gardening option. With this program, we have already reached more than 10 communities throughout Swaziland and have integrated moringa with multiple non-governmental organizations as well as government agencies.
The Anchor Farm pilot is being launched over the next few months.
In the next 2 months, we are focused on the following two tasks:
1. We are fundraising for an initial 1000USD of capital to pay for the fencing, the nursery, seeds, irrigation piping, fertilizers, and other investments.
2. The host farmer is receiving additional training in maintaining a successful nursery through a short internship at the established nursery of a partner organization.
Over the next 6 months, we are:
1. Growing moringa as the first demonstration crop.
2. Establishing the nursery to provide farmers with year round vegetable seedlings.
3. Developing relationships with produce retailers in town.
Over the next 12 months, we are:
1. Putting into trial new under-utilized crops.
2. Constructing appropriate technologies for agricultural activities.
3. Processing and packaging moringa for retail in shops.
1. Once the 1000USD has been raised, it will take no more than one month to establish the farm. The demonstration portion will grow conventional vegetables as well as underutilized indigenous crops. Fertilizers and other inputs will be purchased for resale at smaller portions.
2. If successful, news of this farm and its services will spread through the community and arouse interest. At that time, we will begin offering assistance to the community in the form of informal and formal training.
3. Greater farm productivity and quality will ensure good nutrition for the families. Assistance with produce sales will generate more income for further food purchase, healthcare, and other necessities.
4. This is essentially a facilitated positive deviance outreach that will be replicated in other communities if successful. Capital funding can come from one the pilot farm's revenues as well as donations.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
a. Capital funding for the initial establishment and a small emergency fund (total <2000USD).
b. Develop greater understanding of produce market trends. Knowing what sells when will advise the Anchor Farm and the community on crop choices.
c. Continued training in sustainable agriculture and gardening.
d. Work out management and operations kinks.
e. Base-line nutrition and income assessment.
f. Build productive relationship with the community as a service business.
a. Hiring one staff member to guide replication and expansion.
b. Evaluation against base-line data to study impact.
c. Funding for replication in second community (<2000USD).
d. Install teaching component for the new Anchor Farm hosts.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
The most critical element in the success of each Anchor Farm is the hosting homestead. They must be entrepreneurial, trustworthy, and problem-solvers. They must also be respected within the community. Selection of the right hosting homestead would greatly enhance the impact of the Anchor Farm. Failure of the host to take the initiative would ruin the venture.
The growth of the farm require the support of experts in appropriate technologies and agriculture. Their help is necessary when the problems arise that is beyond the skill the of the farmer. Their help is also important in suggesting new technologies, crops, and methods to be tested.
Finally, the farm must be able to market its produce to sustain itself. The plan is to pick crops with assistance from organizations like TechnoServe and government agricultural marketing agencies. If the farm itself cannot make a profit, then it is unlikely that it can lead the community in doing so.