The project sought to diminish food insecurity in Obibii Nguru Community and Obodo Ahiara Community by teaching them how to grow food for themselves and their children. In January 2018, partnership was built with the Executives of Obibi Nguru and Obodo Ahiara women Associations to mobilize members of the organization for a 1-day sensitization seminar where 188 members of the Women Association in both communities gained knowledge on a low-cost, small scale cultivation that allowed them turn their kitchen waste into organic manure, utilize a portion of their backyard to grow variety of nutritious crops and fruits thus ensure availability of nutrient-rich food all year.
30 beneficiaries of the project were grouped in batches of 6. The project activities were organized in rotations so 5 capacity building sessions and 30 Home visits were conducted from February – June 2019 where they were given seedlings, equipment, soil advice, gardening tips e.t.c as part of this hands-on learning instructions and in-kind support.
Other achievements include:
• Expected wider impact achieved such as development of a kitchen garden culture among members of both communities
• Increased understanding of nutrition and healthy food choices through diversification of diet in their homes and their children eating more fresh nutritious food.
• Use of 100% domestically made organic fertilizer which supported an average of 70% germination rate, 80% growth rate and 85% harvest of crops with short life cycle
• Reduction in cost of food in 30 homes and a safety net provided for these women from low income backgrounds, giving them the possibility to cultivate their own food.
What challenges did or does your project face?
- Key challenge for Circuit Pointe was nation-wide inflation due to elections held in Nigeria in February & March 2019. This cascaded to hike in cost of transportation and increase in cost of farm inputs and we had no additional funding to cushion the effect on our project.
- For the beneficiaries, their major challenge was pest & animal attacks on their seeds and seedlings during the planting season.
How are you working to overcome them?
- Project redesign: to ensure all project activities were implemented and beneficiaries received all farm inputs and equipment, we reduced number of beneficiaries selected for practical demonstration from 50 to 30.
- Agreement was reached with beneficiaries that 5% of their proceeds from the demonstration farms will be donated as inputs to support other members of the women Association interested in backyard farming during the next planting season.
- Lessons learnt from previous project was used to educate beneficiaries on how to control pest and animal attacks.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
For us at Circuit Pointe, our crowdfund sourcing is about implementing a project that triggers change, which is what our project has done. To others, we suggest design of innovative projects that will trigger a change in their community. Also, adoption of participatory approach where your beneficiaries are involved in planning, implementation and joint monitoring and evaluation of your project promotes community ownership, sustainability from an early stage and drives the desired impact. Finally it's important to work within your budget and think of ways your beneficiaries can be interdependent in use of resources when you have a partial grant or discover your crowdfunding is insufficient to successfully implement your project.