This weekly post shines a light on a handful of stories from Heifer.org’s “From the Field” section.
A team from Heifer Philippines visited successful dairy projects to ensure correct development and operation of its first dairy project, which aims to benefit 1,000 families. On their study visits, the group discussed animal stocks, dairy processing and production with farm owners. A participant said the new insights and firsthand experience will help shorten the learning curve and improve the new project’s design.
A batch of Nubian and Saanen dairy goats, which are about to be milked, head toward the milking parlor at the St. Elmo’s Goat and Dairy Farm in the Philippines. Photo by Jun Ayensa, Regional Program Manager, Heifer Southern Philippines
In South Africa, three donors recently had the chance to visit project participants to experience the positive change their generosity has made. Heifer staff took the donors on a two-day journey to four projects in the Limpopo Province. “Hearing and seeing firsthand always makes a difference,” Donor Archie Vermeulen said. “Clearly [Heifer's] positive intervention with the communities has made a huge impact.”
Edvard Hovhannisyan lives in the remote highland community of Harzhis village, Armenia. He has established his livelihood in the productivity of his cows and the Union of Pasture Users of Harzhis Consumers Cooperative, which is associated with the project Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness(CARMAC). The cooperative’s 84 families share equipment and pasture land in hopes that their joint efforts will increase income and promote community improvement.
Gagik Khachatryan, left, heads the implementation of the project for the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture.
A multi-million dollar project for rural revitalization in Armenia is picking up speed with the distribution of several hay balers to farmers’ cooperatives this month. The balers provided by Heifer International will allow farmers to collect and store hay from their land to keep their livestock better fed.
The CARMAC (Community Agriculture Resource Management and Competitiveness) project was undertaken by the government of Armenia with Heifer and the World Bank. It will help small family farms survive and thrive, and will resverse some longstanding environmental damage in overgrazed areas.
Armenia country director Anahit Ghazanchyan hopes the project will help keep families together. As she explains here with an Armenian official, unemployment in rural areas has driven Armenian men to emigrate. The project could give these men the chance to stay in their homeland.
By the end of the project, about 200 pieces of agricultural equipment are expected to be placed within 55 rural communities in Armenia. The availability of modern equipment, along with more careful use of pastures, will boost overall productivity and efficiency of small livestock farms.
Gagik Khachatryan, who heads the project for the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture, said that without Heifer’s contribution, it would have been impossible to ensure rural community engagement and successfully realize the CARMAC project. Heifer Armenia has worked with more than 8,000 Armenian families in the past 11 years, building up familiy farms with gifts of trees, cattle, chickens, and other resources.