FFA GO: Africa – July 20, 2011

Cassava Co-op, Pineapple and Cattle

By Team B (Tom, Ashley, Elizabeth)

  1. Pineapple – Have you ever seen pineapple growing in a field? We have! Today we ventured up a hill, and meet with a pineapple producer. The pineapples were growing on a very steep hill. In this region, it is very rare to grow pineapples, and this farmer is one of the first! The grower can sell his product for about 30 cents a piece. They ripen at different stages, so they are picked at different times of the year. It takes 8 months for them to mature. The farmer was very proud of his work and was continually looking for ways to grow.
  1. Cassava co-op/flour – We traveled to a local cassava co-op and processing facility. They showed us the steps from when the farmer brings the cassava from the field, they wash it, then hand cut the cassava into smaller pieces, dry it for a couple days, and then mill it. They even let us try our hand at chopping cassava, which is harder than it looks! Those people have some serious talent!!! The dried cassava had a texture that was very similar to chalk. The flour was very healthy and gluten-free.  We got to take part in packing the four and received a bag of cassava flour as our parting gift!
  2. Cows/bio digester – The local “dairy” was made up of ten cows that got milked once a day. These cows produced 15 liters of milk/day, while “local cows” only yielded .5 -2 liters a day. This dairy was also working to put in a place a bio-digester that would convert manure to methane to provide fuel for cooking within their houses.   
  3. Language lessons for Elizabeth – Bless my heart! The majority of our team has had a blast learning Kenya-Rwandan and French, while I have been learning English. I have learned the difference between hill and heel, lion and line, pin and pen, tin and ten.  The best part….now that I can say these the proper way, the rest of my team has taken on the southern accent.
  4. Meeting the village – As we drove through the villages all the people would come out and wave! Today we learned that “mo-zung-o” was not just a word that meant white people, it’s a village call! As soon as that word had left someone’s mouth, the whole village cane out to see us! We got to meet the entire village by the time we parked.

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