LOCATION: Department Grand-Bassam, Region Sud-Comoé
DURATION: 12 months
Vocational Educational Center “Abel”
The ‘Centre Abel’ farm project is part of a two-year program to benefit the
Vocational Educational Center “Abel” named “Youth, Education and Rights,” which provides for the provision of an equipped socio-health clinic, the purchase of equipment for a carpentry shop, the renovation of some rooms and facilities, and food support before the Farm Project comes on line
. While maintaining as its primary purpose the vocational training of the children taken in, through the ‘Centre Abel’ Farm project we aim, in fact, to enhance the potential of the place and collective work to provide livelihoods for the Community, producing economic resources useful for addressing the many daily needs. The land belonging to Centre Abel covers an area of 22.7 hectares, only a few of which are currently used due to lack of resources.
The goal is to expand the area designated for cultivation and farming. Due to the diverse nature of the land, the project, which was drawn up under the supervision of an experienced agronomist who spent two months at the facility, plans to start its exploitation in a phased manner. This initiative, when completed, will be of twofold value: on the one hand, it will enable Centre Abel to increase the currently modest economic return generated by its production activities, which will be useful to cover at least part of its many internal expenses and also to be re-invested in the farm itself. Second, it will make the agricultural training courses offered to young guests more comprehensive and effective, and they will benefit from the diversification of activities and improved tools available. Since there is no shortage of mechanized farms in Côte d’Ivoire, once they have acquired solid skills in the sector, the youngsters should have a privileged outlet in the world of work, being able to aspire to be hired at one of these important economic entities. Long-term goal is to achieve food self-sufficiency, that is, to produce internally everything needed to feed the Center’s workers and guests. The implementation of the project is in its first phase, which involves putting into production the part of the land with less vegetation, which, therefore, does not need to be cleared. The Centre’s large well has sufficient water potential to put the entire plot under cultivation. The idea is to engage in the cultivation of vegetables, valuable for the in-house canteen, to which corn and cassava will be added (because they are easy to manage) as an extensive crop.
Maize can be used as animal feed while cassava, along with vegetables, are important products for internal consumption at Centre as well as easily placed on the domestic market should a production surplus occur. On the livestock side, the project plans to maintain and enhance the activities already present: rabbits, ducks, pigs and chickens. They would also like to introduce the raising of egg-laying hens and agouti (a medium-sized rodent whose meat is highly valued in the local market). The conditions also exist for starting a serious fish farming activity, namely: the region’s abundance of water, the strategic location of Centre Abel on the edge of a lagoon, and the already established collaboration with the Laboratoire d’Environnement et de Biologie Aquatique (LEBA) de l’Université d’Abobò Adjamé. Thus, a small “Tilapia” (carp) farm is planned to cover the fish needs of the facility’s guests.