The Higa Ubeho Program

Published: 2021-06-29 07:05:50
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For many Friday July 6th marked a day for them to show their peers just how far they have come and how much they had accomplished. On this Friday, on behalf of the Higa Ubeho Program, CHF and CRS hosted a Provincial Exhibition for the Farmer Field School and PD/H Phase I members who will soon graduate in August. Before the project began these members lacked proper nutrition and the ability to grow enough crops in their small plots to feed their family.
The Higa Ubeho program, with guidance from CHF and CRS, identified OVC members from twenty districts across Rwanda and brought them into the program. In the program 431 FFS schools were set up where beneficiaries were taught bio-intensive farming methods along with space efficient agricultural techniques to maximize the amount they could harvest in the limited space of their own small kitchen gardens. Beneficiaries were trained on how to plant and grow vegetables such as amaranth, carrot, beet root, spinach, onion; staple crops such as cassava, maize, and beans; and bio-fortified crops like Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes and Iron high Rich Beans. Once this training was complete each beneficiary was given seeds, through the help of a seed fair, to go and apply what he has learned for personal use. Each household that was involved in the program used at least 2 of the techniques taught to them in the program.
Today, many farmers report that their harvest is two to four times larger than what it was prior to the program. In addition to this significant increase they have been able to make healthy juices such as carrot juice and other luxuries such as insect repellent solely using ingredients from the crops and using no reliance on pesticides or other costly chemicals. In addition to the positive effect that the absence of pesticides has on their farm and their environment, it also allows them to operate at a very low cost. On July sixth, farmers from all over Rwanda were invited to an exhibition in the Nyabihu district to display to other the quality of the crops they are now producing. Attending the exhibition was the Vice Mayor of the local district, Angela Nukamimani, who gave a positive speech to all thanking the aid community for their work and proudly telling the beneficiaries the improvement that she has seen in her community. When the Vice Mayor spoke she said "it is very important that we learn proper agricultural techniques alongside nutrition habits because these truly do go hand in hand". Ms. Nukamimani later added that the work being done is so beneficial to these communities because so much of Rwanda relies on agriculture for their income and daily lives. She went on to say that in the future we need to help these beneficiaries by creating markets so that all Rwandans can benefit from the healthy crops that are being produced. To conclude what she said to the group, she urged beneficiaries to "spread the techniques you have learned" so that others

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