My name is Jaya Setiawan Gulo, 25, from Medan, Indonesia. I am currently taking a Project Management certificate at Edmonds Community College with a scholarship from Northwest Community College Initiative, sponsored by the United States Department of State.
Sei Paham is a village located in a very rural area in North Sumatra, Indonesia where most of the people work as farmers in the rice fields. They also make their living from the coconut trees and fishery in the pond, river, and sea.
Because the village has many small rivers, water flows in almost every corner. Looking at the water potential in this village, I came up with an idea to create a project called The Village Pond.
In this pond, we will grow up the babies of goldfish, mujair or tilapia fish, and shrimps. These are the perfect combination because all of these fish live together and they do not compete for food.
At the first stage, we will create 10 ponds sized 6m x 8m. Each pond will consist of 500 goldfish, 100 mujair, and 200 shrimps.
After feeding them for 3 months, we will harvest them and sell them to the market. Usually, in that 3 months, the mujair and shrimps will have had small babies in the ponds. Therefore, there will be some mujair babies and small shrimps left in the ponds after harvesting.
When we put the next 500 goldfish, 100 mujair, and 200 shrimps, their numbers for the next harvest will be greater than the first harvest.
When the ponds are finished, we will create 5 large rice fields. These rice fields will get water from the ponds that earlier contained the pups of the fish and shrimps. Their pups are a very good organic fertilizer for the soil and the rice field. Thus, the farmers at Sei Paham will significantly reduce their expense on the fertilizer.
My team and I will engage young people and the community there to work together to create the ponds and rice fields. Thankfully, the community is enthusiastic and open to welcome us to run this project.
The profits of the sale of the fish, shrimps, and rice will be used to give workshops to the community about farm and fishery, provide lands and ponds for the community to breed fish and rice fields, provide fish fry and rice seeds and help low-income families by providing food and shelters.
It will also provide scholarships to the schools so the community does not need to pay any school fees, provide school supply to the students, and build a market to sell the fish, shrimps, and rice.
Moreover, this project will benefit the community by teaching them how to farm their pond and rice fields, increasing their family income by 80% annually, facilitating them to own a pond and a rice field, providing market access to sell their harvest, and help their kids to go to school.
Sei Paham village needs to be developed by giving farm and fishery expertise and knowledge to the community while providing education access to the kids. They have water, fertile soil, and natural resources but apparently they do not know how to use it.
I visited this village when I was 3 years old. This is the village where my mother comes from. Since then I committed to contributing to the community and making a difference.
The project budget of USD $5,000 will be allocated as follows:
To buy empty lands, remove invasive plants, create the ponds, make irrigation, and the rice fields.
To buy 5,000 goldfish, 1,000 mujair, 2,000 shrimps, and rice seeds.
To buy the food for the fish and shrimps, and adequate fertilizer for the rice field.
To buy equipment such as knives, choppers, pipes, and other farming and fishery needs.
To build two small huts to shelter, to maintain the pond and rice field, to store the harvest temporarily, and to gather with the community.
To provide training to the community.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Gulo Setiawan (Indonesia) – jayasetiawangulo[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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