Bendugu Agricultural Cooperative
Economic development through agriculturally based initiatives
SEED International collaborates with villages and community groups to bring about economic development through agriculturally based initiatives. The Bendugu Agricultural Cooperative includes 100 acres of land, which was donated to SEED in 2006. SEED provided the initial agricultural inputs, including tools and seedlings, to support the cultivation of oil palm, cassava and groundnuts. In exchange, the community sets aside a third of each harvest to support the operations of the NarSarah Clinic. More land will continue to be cultivated as the project expands.
SEED has acquired five female cows through the support of Over Drive Solutions in Rhode Island. These cows are raised for milk, meat and to be work-oxen. Before the cows, all farming was done by hand, which inhibited the amount of workable land, and also did not provide enough food for families. With the work-oxen, the land area for cultivation increases and therefore food production increases. Additionally, 100% of the profit, after the start up cost, goes to the NarSarah Clinic.
The village of Bendugu is the home village of Sarah, mother of Dorcas and her siblings. The people of Bendugu provided people to help clear the land at the site of the Clinic. They also offered 100 acres of land for crops to provide income for the Clinic. A plan was developed to provide jobs for the village residents by working the land and the profits from the crops will be shared between the village and the Clinic. An Agriculturist is in charge of the land and is educating the people on crop rotations, best planting procedures, proper harvesting procedures, etc. Funding is needed for seeds and seedings to develop the entire 100 acres.