This week we had the pleasure of taking part in a community council meeting in which 54 members of the village discussed the latest opportunities and challenges they’re facing in their lives. Unsurprisingly, the hydroponic garden was a big topic. Its promise of providing a sustainable and locally-sourced food supply has sparked excitement and enthusiasm. However, as with any ambitious project, challenges and concerns have arisen during its construction phase.
During the council meeting, many residents expressed their excitement about the potential benefits of the hydroponic garden. They emphasized its potential to reduce dependency on outside food sources, increase the availability of fresh produce, and generate additional income from the grocery store contract. A general consensus was that the garden is not only a step towards environmental sustainability but also an opportunity to strengthen community ties.
On the other hand, there were some concerns raised such as the time it will take from other work that needs to be done in the community and whether or not this “new technology” is really going to work. There was a mostly failed garden project done by a grant from USAID a few years ago, so it’s no surprise that there are doubts. Addressing these concerns we explained that there’s only a couple of hours of maintenance required a week for the garden, and it will produce new income and opportunity for the people, especially the young people, in the community. The vast majority of the people are excited for this new agricultural venture, and those that are most excited constitute enough hands to make garden work viable.