Restocking for the second term is complete and losses are down. 2,500 fish are now thriving...
Meet some of the individuals who have come together to make this project a reality.
BIRSHI AQUACULTURE PROGRAM
Erratic rainfall over the course of several years left farmers in the once-thriving village of Birshi with drastically reduced harvests. Many of the villagers were suffering from malnutrition, including severe vitamin B deficiencies, and the village infrastructure had deteriorated due to a lack of resources with which to make repairs. Our student leaders saw in Birshi an opportunity to provide subsistence farmers with the skills and resources necessary to develop a cash crop which would remain unaffected by drought.
Working in tandem with the Bauchi State Agricultural Development Program, our students taught local farmers how to raise catfish. Holding tanks were built on land contributed by the Birshi village head and a well was drilled and outfitted with pumping equipment to provide a steady source of water throughout the growing season. In order to ensure the highest returns for our farmers, LI students also developed contacts throughout neighboring regions who provide current local pricing information at harvest time. This network of contacts enables our farmers to maximize profits by shipping directly to those markets where catfish prices are highest.
With individual LI donors contributing the start-up funds for tanks and seed fish, our farmers were able to harvest an initial crop of 840 catfish which yielded significant profits at market. Those fish which were not large enough to sell have improved nutrition throughout the village through distribution to the disabled, sick and elderly. The bulk of the profits from the first harvest were saved to reinvest in the project, which will allow more farmers and their families to participate in the cooperative. The remaining 30% of the profits were distributed equally among participating farmers, enabling them to feed their families well and to send their children to school instead of keeping them on their farms to work.
In 2008 Leadership Initiatives launched its first Regional Leadership Development Program in Bauchi State, Nigeria.
FISH FARMING INITIATIVE
Equips subsistence farmers with the skills and tools to develop a cash crop.
SKILLS ACQUISITION INITIATIVE
Provides unemployed youth with marketable skills and job placement.
COMPUTER LITERACY INITIATIVE
Equips disabled individuals with business computing skills.