Community Vegetable Garden

Community Vegetable Garden

Teh, Liberia
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

I am a Vai elder from Cape Mount County, Liberia. We have a 2-acre community organic vegetable garden. However, almost all the plants we've planted this year have been eaten by insects. We need to research tropical vegetable varieties and organic cultivation techniques suitable for our location.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Growing our own vegetable gardens would improve our nutrition and also give us a source of income. There are no jobs in our villages and the only way we can get work is to make work for ourselves.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

When we learn to grow vegetables on our land it would provide work, food, and a source of income. There are over 6,000 people who live in this area of Cape Mount County. The only jobs are in Monrovia so our young people are leaving their villages for the city. If we can establish agricultural work in our area, it would give our men and women work to allow them to remain in their home villages.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

My garden would be an example to other people in our village (Teh) and in the Garwula and Tombe districts of Cape Mount County. All our land is community owned and anyone can ask the village council to use some of the land to grow a garden and they would be allowed to. There is plenty of good land but people don't have the knowledge to grow the types of vegetables that would sell well in Monrovia--beans, tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, squash, etc. Almost all the vegetables sold in Monrovia supermarkets and hotels are imported from neighboring countries and even Europe. Yet we have fertile land for vegetables and a 12 month growing season. Growing vegetables would increase our nutrition and give us an income.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

So far, we have had limited success growing lettuce, parsley, potato greens, collard greens, corn. I employ two women and one man and also 4 boys from Bomboja who are staying with me so they can attend school in Mando. Our efforts to grow the most valuable crops--tomatoes, beans, squash, eggplants, okra--have been an almost total loss. Insects eat the plants before they can start producing fruit. On my 2-acre site, which we have prepared into 31 x 25-meter long raised beds, and which we have fertilized by compost heaps, we should be able to grow enough vegetables to earn about $600 a week. The vegetables we grow would also improve our nutrition. Right now our food is mostly rice and soup made with oil and greens, also fish when we can afford it. If our garden is successful many villagers would learn how to grow their own vegetables using our example.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

After we learn how to solve the problem of insect damage without using pesticides, then our gardens will sustain themselves by being profitable. We are already managing the soil fertility by using organic compost. If we can learn how to solve the insect problem, the land will contnue to provide food and income for our people.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Not many vegetables are grown in Liberia. Most of the vegetables in our markets come from Ivory Coast and Guinea, and they are too expensive for common people to buy. If our people can grow these expensive vegetables, we can eat some ourselves and sell the rest to the market women in Monrovia, and also supermarkets and restaurants.
Team

Founding Story

Everything grows in our land. In the dry season months we have trees full of oranges, limes and grapefruit. In our forests we have wild growing pineapples. Our soil is black and crumbles in your hand when you lift it up. Some places the black soil is 4 feet deep into the ground. One year ago I went to Monrovia and was amazed at the price of vegetables like tomatoes and beans. I asked the market women selling them why they were so expensive and they told me because they came from Ivory Coast and Guinea. I asked them who were the customers who could buy such expensive vegetables and they said "People in Monrovia have money, oh!" So I said to myself that I would go back to my village, learn how to grow vegetables and teach my people.
About You
Organization:
Teh Village
About You
First Name

seidu

Last Name

keizolo

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Teh Village

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact

, CM, Teh

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them
Nutrients For All
Where do you ensure the availability of nutrients?

Healthy environments., Nutrient-rich farming, Full nourishment foods, Human wellness and vitality.

If you had greater capacity, which additional sectors would you like your solution to target - either through expansion, partnership, or thought exchange?

Healthy environments, Nutrient-rich farming, Full nourishment foods, Human wellness and vitality.

How specifically would this added capacity help you improve the quality, efficiency, or sustainability of your existing product or service?

We are losing too much of our crop to insects and need to learn organic techniques to reduce insect damage. The solution might be to plant insect-resistant varieties, to use organic pesticides, or to inter-plant herbs and flowers in our vegetable gardens that naturally deter insects. Some of our plants, tomatoes for instance, do not even survive 3 weeks before being completely eaten by insects. We do not want to use chemical pesticides, but this would be our only choice if we cannot find a natural solution to our insect problem.