Agriculture and Livestock at Maison Shalom

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The Maison Shalom farm: training and production activities

Once they’ve finished school, the young people taken in by Maison Shalom have a wide variety of occupations to choose from. In Ruyigi, for example, they can learn more about agriculture and animal husbandry at the Maison Shalom farm. This agricultural centre, which has a permanent staff of 20 and employs about 300 seasonal workers, grows a wide range of crops (vegetables such as cabbages, lettuces, eggplants, carrots, potatoes, cereals such as maize and sorghum, fruit trees such as bananas, etc.). On part of the land, an efficient irrigation system is used to grow rice, a task entrusted to the Ruyigi Association of HIV-positive Women. Forage crops of Bana Grass (Cow Cane) and Tripsacum are also grown, and used as fodder for Maison Shalom’s dozen milk cows. The milk is a staple component of the food distributed at the Centre for Maternal and Child Health (CPMI).

The farm’s produce is sold on the local market and used for Maison Shalom’s hotel activities.

Expansion plans

The farm continues to develop, however. Two projects are particularly important. The first is for an intensive irrigation system to be used during the dry season. The second is to build a cheese factory, for better and more diverse use to be made of milk production.

A farm for young people in Rutimbura

Maison Shalom has built a second farm in Rutimbura, several kilometres from its headquarters. The farm is run by an association of young people from Rutimbura commune. It occupies about 80 members and produces milk (eight cows, a gift from Maison Shalom). It is specialized, however, in the sale of manure. The Rutimbura farm plans to expand into chicken and goat breeding.