The Akilah Farm is located at the Bugesera campus on ninety acres of beautiful farmland bordering Lake Cyohoa. This exciting new development has three primary benefits for the Akilah Institute.
When complete the farm will:
- Provide nutritious and affordable meals for our students
- Serve as an educational tool and allow Akilah to offer a degree in conservation agriculture,
- Help Akilah to become financially self-sustaining by providing a supplemental revenue stream through the sale of produce to local restaurants and markets.
As of January 2012, the farm is in the early stages of development. We have young orchards of mangoes, avocado, oranges, and bananas, and we are just entering our first season of crops featuring watermelon, sweet and hot peppers, pineapple, and African eggplant. We have repaired one of the property's existing water catchment tanks, which provides the minimum water necessary to prepare our crops and compost piles as the shorter of Rwanda's two dry seasons comes to a close. In the beginning the farm will provide two harvests per year, corresponding with the region's two rainy seasons, but in time and with adequate funding we will be able to implement a drip irrigation system and expand to three harvests per year, growing through the long dry season of June through September. By the end of 2013 the farm will also include Papaya, Maize, Beans, Cassava, Tree Tomato, Moringa and rotating seasonal vegetables. Eventually, we will also be able to support livestock, including chickens, goats, cows, and pigs. In addition to the benefits the farm will provide for Akilah, it also provides work for the surrounding community of Bugesera. As the rainy season approaches, the Akilah farm will employ over one-hundred casual laborers each day. Furthermore, we will soon be able to provide them with lunch and fresh drinking water, allowing them to work into the afternoon instead of ending their work-day at noon, which is the usual custom out of necessity.