Now that water is available, the wise use of it in an agricultural context is important. Using water as a key ingredient in reducing poverty has many possibilities, with small-scale agriculture at the forefront. Strategic community-wide and household agriculture can lead to food security, increases in health, income, and the stimulation of the local economy in the rural areas.
The Mozambican diet in the rural areas is mainly composed of cassava - a staple with very little nutritional value. It is grown because it doesn't need great soil or much water. Growing other types of vegetables has not been an option since water wasn't available.
The ability to grow unique crops presents the opportunity to have a valuable presence in the local marketplace and generate income.
CLIMBING THE DEVELOPMENT LADDER
WITH FOOD SECURITY
AND INCOME GENERATION
Concepts of supply and demand, nutritional value in certain crops and wise future investing is discussed in depth with the Agriculture Division in the Water Oversight Committee. The garden program is incorporated into the school curriculum under the guidance of the Sustainability and Agriculture Division.
A 12,000 sq/ft garden is built (by the community members) next to the school and the new water well. These gardens are built with new, innovative drip irrigation systems (more on the next page). Profits from these sales go to the sustainability of the well and further development projects they may choose to pursue as a community (i.e. solar power, improvements to the school and conditions etc).
We worked to innovate this system of gravity-fed drip irrigation using a simple 20L bucket. By filling up the bucket 1.5 times, a person can irrigate 50m of crops.Each of these systems cost only $12 USD
Each of these systems cost only $12 USD initial capital investment to build and can yield a net profit of $150 - $200 from each harvest. After implementing new, unique technologies and strategies, it is possible for people to have 3-4 harvests per year growing demand-focused crops such as tomatoes, beetroot, green beans etc., instead of a rain-dependent single harvest growing profitless cassava.
Simple and low-cost methodologies, such as growing corn in between rows of tomatoes to provide shade, can open up possibilities to household farmers beyond what they ever thought was possible.
This new income stimulates the local economy and can be a rung on the development ladder that they can climb themselves.
This Water Underground drip irrigation model in these gardens is aimed at demonstrating methods and technologies that are accessible and possible for the community to implement in their own homes - not only to benefit the school and sustainability of the water project.
THE WISE USE OF WATER IS IMPORTANT IN AGRICULTURE.
IN THE COMMUNITIES WE WORK IN... IT IS SIMPLY CRUCIAL.
LIFE CAN GROW