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.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New Pigs, New Project Idea

The newest additions to  UPLift

On Wednesday Kaw Maw Taw (who works on the UPLift agriculture projects as a field officer) located and purchased five pigs, thus beginning the rearing phase of the Pig/Compost Project at Hway Ka Loke School in Mae Sot, Thailand.

The pigs are of mixed breed ("mix-sai-paan" in Thai), and are between 1 and 1.5 months old.  The initial weight estimate is at 10 kilograms (22 pounds) per pig.  After an initial week of low feed amounts, we will begin testing a high-protein diet that uses a mixture of store feed, fermented banana stalk and liquid microorganisms.  The amount of banana stalk used increases as the pigs age, reducing the cost input needed for food while giving the pigs added nutrients and improved health.

Meanwhile, Kaw Maw Taw has been learning about raising black soldier fly larvae, a very inexpensive and consistent source of protein for feeding fish and chickens.  Partners' Relief and Development, a collaborating organization, has built a larvae "house" and is successfully breeding the larvae by mixing their food waste and other organic materials every day.  The larvae consume this waste very rapidly, and upon reaching full maturation climb out of a pipe in the unit and are ready to be fed to fish at Partner's farm site in Mae Sot.

Larvae "house" at Partners farm site

Black soldier fly larvae

Since we have surveyed numerous Burmese migrant schools with fish projects, our new goal is to learn the process of building and maintaining these units, and then sharing this technology with interested schools.  During the upcoming week Kaw Maw Taw will be building our first unit.