Seed for Life
Although the project has only been running a full cycle year ie: from raising and distributing funding, physically preparing the ground for planting, sowing & cultivating the crop, harvesting and initiating the school meal programme, the result has been remarkable although certainly a learning curve.
In terms of figures, 80 farmers and their families have benefited from a better standard of living - a total of 558 individuals (ie family members husbands/wives/children) - a total of 300 acres of what was barren waste ground has been worked and made into more productive land. In excess of 3000 saplings have been planted which in time will bear fruit and provide fuel for the fires. 1300-1400 primary school children will receive one meal a day during term time. In terms of morale this has made a tremendous difference to the whole community who appreciate the fact that they are not on their own but are getting the pride and satisfaction that this is not just a hand out; they have to provide the work knowing that the whole community will benefit.
|Amount of harvest overall retained by Farmer:||35.525 tonne maize|
|Amount of harvest donated to School meal programme & loan fund:||30.050 tonne maize|
This provides funding to enable pupils to complete a secondary education and is administered as a separate fund last year we sent over £1400.
This is aimed specifically at those in most need supplying seed and fertilizer. The difference with this fund is we do not expect any return of harvest the recipient will keep all that they grow.
The Soya & Ground Nut Harvest was not very successful this last harvest April /May 2018 and the decision has been made that sufficient should be purchased while the price is still low and put in store to compliment the children's school meal. This action has already taken place and is now in store at a cost of £2299.00.
We will be sending funding over the beginning of November in order for 80 farmers to plant maize seed.
The part of the maize harvest which is still in store and not being used for the school meal programme will be sold off when the price increases in order to offset some of this year's outlay - which is the sustainability aspect kicking in.
The payback for the farmers at the next harvest will be in the ratio of for every 10 kgs of seed and fertiliser received they will be expected to return 500kgs of harvest maize. This should enable the continued growth in the sustainable aspect of the project with the continuation of the school meal programme (which is not only feeding the children but has also seen an increase in attendance which is encouraging more children to get an education).
Achievements to Date
A total of £16,000.00 + was raised in 2017 between May and November - it not only supplied Maize/Soya/Ground Nut seed and fertiliser but also tree saplings to be grown for fruit and fuel. Training was provided along with advice from Consultants and Government bodies. Capital equipment was supplied, store rooms renovated, school meal kitchens constructed, utensils provided.
Bemvu has missed the severe devastation of the Cyclone that hit Africa last month, The harvest of Maize is about to start and we are hopeful that it will be productive. In January we sold off the Maize which we held in store since last year for £2256.00 which is now held in the Partnership Bank account in Bemvu. (This is the sustainability aspect of the project kicking in).
Ken Ross resigned recently as a Trustee of the SCIO to take up a position in Africa we would like to thank Ken for firstly introducing our Community to the Community of Bemvu and also for his guidance and the benefit of his experience of Africa during his position of Chairman of the SCIO and wish him all the very best in his new post. Dr. George Hannah has been elected on the Board of Trustees and has accepted the position of Treasurer while Dr Phil Moss has stepped into the role of Chairman.
The SCIO has been successful in being one of only six Organisations in our category to be awarded a Scottish Governments Grant which will put the project on a completely different level we will receive £13,735.00 this year £19700 next year and £26,265.00 in the third year, however we are still committed to raising our own funds in order to be in receipt of this grant money.
There have been several fund activities recently, thank you to all who supported and to Maggie and all who helped.
Dave Alsop and Maggie Thorpe with Partners have been invited to represent SeedforLife.FeedforLifeSCIO as well as the County of Argyll at the Queen's Garden Party to be held at Holyrood in July, which is not only a great honour but shows that S4L is being recognised in areas out with our small community.
Thank you all for your continued support and rest assured that it is making life changing differences to our Friends in Bemvu.