The availability of fresh, locally-grown food is an essential part of a sustainable development model. By teaching best management practices, the keeping of chickens (meat and eggs), pigs, cows and goats (milk and cheese), can be further developed into small businesses that supply the needs of the local community.
Eggs for All. During a clinic Xela AID held in 1996, dozens of village children were found to have serious protein deficiencies. The next summer, Xela AID prototyped facilities and techniques for farming fresh eggs. The project involved 12 families who were supplied with chicks, materials to construct simple chicken coops, and basic training in poultry keeping. Major flooding that swept away homes in the mid-2000s thwarted the project by destroying coops which were not immediately rebuilt, but the training that had been received could not be swept away—over time, families resumed keeping cooped chickens.
Xela AID is in the process of implementing animal husbandry projects that focus on sustainable design, The organization will do this in partnership with existing, local organizations by providing seed funding by way of micro-loans. As an example:
Sustainable Pig Farming Project (in process) – Through a micro-loan, would fund training, the initial purchase of piglets, and professional support for one season/6 months (Proposal complete. Seed funding sought. Contact us.)
Specialized Training. As an additional example, Xela AID will team with the local high schools (boys and girls in “basico”) to ensure specializations for high-school students, who then can start their own small businesses after graduation. Besides animal husbandry training, the program will include a focus on student design of business models and business plans, and learning appropriate business practices.
Xela AID will supply micro-loans for a number of these projects, as well as oversight, feedback, and additional training where needed.