The Akilah Farm is located on Akilah’s new 90-acre campus, donated by the Rwandan government and located in the Bugesera District. Still in the early stages of development, the farm currently has young orchards of mangoes, avocados, oranges, bananas, pineapples and more and will soon begin planting cash crops such as cassava. Since January, the farm has already produced more than 400 kilos of beans and 800 kilos of maize. By the end of 2013 the farm will also include tree tomato, moringa, and other rotating seasonal vegetables. Eventually, we will also be able to support livestock, including chickens, goats, cows, and pigs.
Produce, such as cabbage, onions and radishes, from the farm is used to provide daily lunch to Akilah students, which is often the only meal of the day for many students. Using our own produce drastically cuts Akilah’s operational expenses. The future goals of the farm include:
- Helping Akilah become self-sustainable by creating a revenue stream by selling produce on the local market.
- Serving as an educational tool, allowing Akilah to launch a Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture, using the farm for hand-on learning.
In addition to the benefits the farm will provide for Akilah, it also provides work for the surrounding community of Bugesera. During the dry season, the farm employs an average of 35 workers per day. In the rainy season, the farm will employ over 100 casual laborers each day. Furthermore, we will soon be able to provide workers with lunch and fresh drinking water, allowing them to work into the afternoon instead of ending their work-day at noon, which is the usual custom out of necessity.
The Akilah Farm implements methods of conservation agriculture to save natural resources. The farm uses mulch to preserve water and uses digging instead of plowing to preserve the fertility of the soil.