Thursday, November 4, 2010

Construction Begins

Work has started on the four concrete fish tanks designed for the garden property of the Wesleyan Bible College in Xai-Xai, Mozambique. Thanks to the generous gifts of many donors over the past year, we have been able to send enough funds for completion of the tank system, as well as stock and feed the fish.

Many thanks to Jason Helm, our in-country contact with Global Partners and Unitas International. Jason is a very capable manager and leader, mobilizing students and workers in operation of the garden site and construction of the aquaculture system.

We are hopeful that construction of the tanks will be completed by mid-December. If the fish are then stocked to the tanks by the New Year, the farm can take advantage of summer growing temperatures.

This is an exciting milestone. It is our intention that the system being constructed in Xai-Xai will be a model for other demonstration/training sites elsewhere. The tanks are designed to operate on a three-stage growth cycle. Water is drawn from a drilled well by a solar-powered pump. The soil at this location is sandy, thus the need for concrete tanks as opposed to earthen ponds. If a viable demo farm can be developed on this property, then it can be reproduced anywhere that the Wesleyan Church owns property with access to groundwater. The presence of surface water would reduce pumping costs, and impermeable soils would reduce the need for concrete culture tanks.

Once the current project is proven effective, the intention is to eventually double the number of tanks and, subsequently, fish production, providing skills training of young students and families. Onward and upward.

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