“If hunger is not seasonal, should crop production be seasonal?”
This question need to be answered if truly we want to achieve food security, most especially in Sub Saharan Africa which has been reported to have the highest number of hungry people in the world. To this end, GLA is contributing an important drive towards achieving food security all year round through re-orientation of young generation on environmental friendly and economical alternative ways to grow food in urban areas.
Meet one of our very own Youth Agri-lead volunteers, Abiodun Olalude as she adopts one school in her community; Graceland school, along idi-obi, Airport road, Ibadan to groom the next generation farmers on vegetable farming. Although she had little challenges at the beginning of her project, such as limited farming space and her school farm first shooting vegetables was stolen just before their harvest day. But against all odds, she adopted sack planting as a solution to tackle the limited space in the school.
Here is her full success story at Graceland schools…
Abiodun set out to pick a school at the beginning of the school session in September 2017 and Graceland Schools accepted her offer close to the middle of the term after rejection from other schools. She met with the students after their midterm break for orientation about the program and on the 6th of November 2017, the students cleared the area around their refuse dump site and prepared beds in readiness for planting. Ewedu was planted by the students on the 16th of November but unfortunately, some chickens found their way into the school and scattered the beds with the seeds, though some seeds still survived and grew. However, the crops was still lost as the students went on holiday in December and no concrete plans was made for wetting.
The second term started in January 2018 and she met with the students on the 18th January, 2018 to make concrete plans for the term. The students were grouped into four, comprising of 7-8 students per group and each student was asked to bring soil filled sack or container for planting.
Each group planted seeds in their containers/sacks.
Group 1- Soko
Group 2- Ewedu
Group 3- Igbagba
Group 4- Amaranth
All the seeds germinated well except for group 1 who lost all of theirs due to poor management. On the 15th February, re-supply was made to some scanty containers especially the ewedu group; they had to plant soko to replace the ewedu. Group 4 lost some of their crops to theft from neighbors in the school area.
Harvesting started with ewedu which was sold to one of the students who had told her mother about our scheduled harvest. Other subsequent harvests were made as the crops mature and sold. About #400 was made from the sales as at the end of the term with some crops still growing. Arrangement was made for watering during the holiday.
Each group made beds and planted okra in order to get group 1 who had lost all of their previously planted crop. The okra was doing well as at the end of term.
(1) Land/Bed preparation by Graceland school students,
(2) transplanting of the vegetable from nursery into the bed prepared.
(3) Growing stage of the vegetable.
(4) Planting of vegetables inside sacks
1st harvesting by students