F.A.R.M. Foundation of the Africa Rural Market
Foundation of the Africa Rural Market, FARM is a training ground in sub-Saharan Africa for green building, agriculture, and environmentally friendly techniques for locals to improve their communities
Foundation of the African Rural Market
Foundation of the Africa Rural Market, FARM is a training ground in sub-Saharan Africa for green building, agriculture, and environmentally friendly techniques for locals to improve their communities and business. The center will capitalize on helping rural poor farmers obtain the knowledge of new and existing techniques to improve their farms, build a sustainable home, and be the market hub of all new activities and produce in the region. FARM will provide training classes, demonstration fields, weekly market, business center, and improved technology into the area. Villagers will be able to view products and techniques first hand to understand clearly how to implement the same technique into their own farm or household. This business model will allow rural small scale farmers meet the need for higher quality produce and maximum production benefits through a sustainable and profitable enterprise. FARM will include the following features at the specified location:
1. Green building design
2. Training Center
3. Business Center
4. Outdoor Market
5. Demonstration farms and gardens
To become a member of FARM villagers must complete and pass 2 training classes at a specified cost. Once the initial cost is paid then they will be a member of FARM for 5 years. To renew the membership they must complete/ pass a certain number of courses. Training classes will be in price range of what the average farmer makes in the region.Membership will include:
1. Booth at weekly market
2. Discount on gardening/farming material
3. 1 free class per year
4. Marketing material
FARM will partner with NGO'S, aid organizations, current Peace Corps volunteers, and Universities to accomplish program model. Any organization looking to promote their environmentally friendly product or technique would be able to showcase at the center.Examples include, but not limited to:
Habitat for Humanity(sustainable housing)
US Peace Corps (teaching, monitoring)
Engineers without Borders(sustainable development, water retention)
Universities, Local and abroad (teaching, education material)
Solar energy NGO'S(reneweable energy)
Monitor and Evaluation:
FARM aims to monitor and evaluate all project initiatives. Monitoring the project will be accomplished by :
1. Site Assessment : The initial site assessment take place will propose that the site be in the following location:
a. Trade/business/farming region of specified country
b. Target the rural-poor farmers in sub-Saharan Africa
c. Utilize existing farming landscape
d. Location to be near transport hub and easy access for community
2. Partners: Stationed nearby are local NGO's and US Peace Corps Volunteers to oversee project initiatives.
3. Survey (control vs. treatment groups): Survey before and after implementation to understand agricultural and household practices. We will be able to monitor and evaluate the change that takes place when FARM is and is not utilized by locals.
4. Evaluate: Progress to be evaluated yearly by new community surveys and FARM program suggestion forms.
Green Building Design:
The building design would utilize all local materials. These materials would be available at a low or reasonable cost for villagers to use in building their own home. The building will set an example of what could be done in a rural household. The building will have minimal environmental impact and a plan for recycling leftover materials. The building will also aim to address health issues such as reducing toxic chemicals using renewable energy.
Materials, Location, Availablity and Use
Wood lot in training center
Recycled building material
2. Straw/grass/palm leaves
Insulation in wall structure
Woodlot in training facility
Building structure, flooring
4. Recycled plastic containers/bottles
Insulation in wall and flooring
Solar PV panels and LED lights will be used for electricity. Back up 12 Volt batteries will be available with rechargeable LED battery lights in the FARM Business Center.
The building will be designed not to impede on any existing landscape features (trees, habitat, etc) and to incorporate any existing trees into design.
Rain barrels made from local recycled products to be utilized for water collection and use in the farms.
Training classes will be provided to members in the following subjects.
-green building design
-Cost and Estimation
2. Renewable energy in the home
-how to build your own PV system from local resources
-LED lighting, costs and benefits
-Solar food drying
- Water Pump Maintenance, solar panels, etc
-Jatropha species for biofuel
-Trees and their uses
Classes to be taught by:
- Local NGO's
- US Peace Corps Volunteers
- Farmers Associations
- Dept. of Forestry Workers
- University exchange system*
*FARM will plan to partner with a University to network into classes through video. This will enable students to follow class's past/present that are being taught in America/UK on the above subjects. Translation to local language can be made in the classroom.
FARM business center will provide a central location for all agribusiness activity. Here small business owners can rent out space to have offices or demonstration space. FARM will have rooms for the following.
1. Seed Bank: Collection of tree, crop, and garden seeds for farmers. Free for members to exchange seeds. Non-members pay cost.
2. Solar PV Charging station: Charge cell phones, batteries, battery powered lights and radios from PV system.
3. LED light and battery rental shop: Customers can rent out or buy rechargeable LED lights for their home. The lights can be charged at the charging station. 12 Volt batteries will also be for rent/sale for customers to take home and charge their belongings from home. Price to be affordable/cheaper than kerosene, dependent on where project is located.
4. ReSTOCK shop: Shop for locals to buy and sell recycled building material at low cost
Plastic bags, bottles, cans: to use on future buildings
Construction materials :(wood and any excess materials for site construction)
Incentive to be given for items brought into center.
All recycled material that cannot be sold off hand to be picked up by local construction company to be used for new buildings.
5. Outdoor Market:
An outdoor market will take place once a week where locals can sell their produce, crafts, or promote their farming ideas. By having the locals show off their new produce and products at a local market, this will set an example to the community. The community will be able to see that with the correct training they too can produce a higher crop yield, fresher vegetables, and new products to create a small agribusiness for their own household.
Local produce and crafts from FARM to be sold. Profit to help sustain business
Only members will be allowed to have a booth at the market.
Marketing event to take place once a week to promote FARM classes, training facility, and Business Center.
Pamphlets to be distributed and gardens will be open for viewing.
6. Demonstration Farms and Gardens:
FARM aims to have an onsite example of all farming techniques that can be utilized in a sub-Saharan Africa community.
The plot of land will include the following examples:
- Intercropping techniques
- Jatropha trees for seed collection/ biofuel production
- Irrigation systems from local materials
- Live fencing
- Crop and vegetable production
- Tree grafting
- Organic pesticide
FARM will improve the livelihood and sustainable natural resource management in the country by providing a key center for income generation, training, and new technology to be displaced. This will mean having greater productivity of land, water, and natural resources to help promote a steady income for the rural poor. By incorporating necessary training, technology and product markets, this will have a direct effect on the social, institutional, and infrastructure development in the region. The locals will then be able to teach their peers, provide a steady income for their family, while creating a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle for their household.
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