UPLift--Poverty Alleviation For The Ultra-Poor

UPLift is a program designed to empower communities on the Thai/Burmese border that lack food security, opportunities for income, and education. Through the use of small grants and skills trainings, these families receive the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty without having to rely on external aid indefinitely.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Project Update--The Pigs Are Waiting

Dirty work underway at Hway Ka Loke school, Mae Sot
The past month has been full of learning curves for the UPLift Pig/Compost project--preparing for a pig rearing project that uses low-cost inputs like fermented banana stalk feed and powerful microorganisms harvested locally, we have been fighting through rainy season to get everything ready for the pigs to arrive in October.  See what we've been doing below, and for the full photo update click here!
Students lending a hand...well, their feet, by crushing eggshells for use in a calcium concentrate
Our completed work area, with pig pen sticking out amongst the banana trees
Harvesting bananas for students, and trimming down the cluster of stalks

One teacher has been doing a great job of keeping rosella and young banana trees healthy during the rains
Speaking of rain, it has been the heaviest season in the past few decades, which can be seen by looking at our original deep litter above.
...however, we have been refilling the deep litter with soil, sacrificing some volume for a dry and effective space for the pigs
Students and staff help to prep a fermented concentrate that provides large amounts of nitrogen for pigs and vegetables alike

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pig Project Update--IMO Workshop

Ingredients for Fermented Fruit Juice, or FPJ

The UPLift Pig/Compost project pilot is still going strong in Mae Sot, Thailand  The system of raising pigs on a mixture of banana stalk, dry feed and homemade microorganism concentrates is moving on to its second phase--teaching both teachers and students at Hway Ka Loke Migrant School how to make "IMOs", or indigenous microorganisms.

These microorganisms are to be used in several ways:
  • to enhance the feed of the pigs by providing stronger and more appropriate bacteria to the stomachs of the pigs
  • to break down the banana feed mix into simple nutrients, so that pigs can digest more nutrients than when eating store feed
  • to break down existing deep-litter materials into organic matter and compost, so that the school can use or sell up to a ton of rich compost per year
Our staff began the workshop last week by introducing a few basic processes for making these IMOs, of which there are seven in total for use in the project.  Take a look!

Students and teachers prepared ingredients for an IMO that promotes stomach health (for pigs as well as humans!)

Morning glory and sugar will be fermented to create a liquid used to water pigs, as well as increase nitrogen and potassium levels in the school's vegetable patches

Finished IMOs in the fermentation process