Off-grid Solutions Project

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Grow Tomatoes by Sprinkling Water with Water Pumps That Use Photovoltaic Power Generation Systems. School Lunches Have Become Available

April 20, 2020

Photo: Students eating lunch

Some 3.6 t of harvested tomatoes are serving as school lunch ingredients and a funding source

The students and school staff are growing vegetables in the fields established on the premises of the Ilkimati Primary School. By sprinkling water drawn automatically using an electric water pump with solar panels, they have harvested some 3.6 t of tomatoes.

Daily school lunch services started in September 2019. A quarter of the tomatoes harvested last time and the rest were sold, and Maize and beans were purchased from the profits for school lunches. The students and school staff planted seedlings and they will be harvested this spring.

Currently, they are growing six types of vegetables in their fields, including tomatoes, watermelons, maize beans, kale, and green onions. Vegetables suitable for both the rainy and dry seasons are grown respectively. Maize will be harvested next to the tomatoes and used as lunch ingredients.

Tomatoes, maize, watermelons, and other vegetables are grown in the three-acre fields cultivated by the students and school staff.
Automatically sprinkle water drawn by an electric water pump and supplied via hoses.
They also grow beans (left) and kale (right).

The availability of school lunches increased children's attendance rate.

Among the approximately 150 households living in the vicinity of the primary school, some only have one meal per day. In addition, there are children who quit school to help their families at home with tasks such as grazing and water drawing. Against the background, The school feeding program encouraged children to attend school and resulted in an increased attendance rate.

Evening classes that were launched with the aim of improving their academic performances are provided every weekday. Moreover, early-morning classes from 7:00 to 8:00 started. Supplementary classes will continue to be provided with the help of lighting powered by photovoltaic and energy storage systems.

The school feeding program became one of the main reasons for increase of attendance rate of children.