With two Team members on site full time, RES has made a highly visible and effective commitment to rural communities and business development in the region.
Introducing and equipping several hoop houses for vegetable production has broadened the growing season for both home consumption and market sales - meeting food security and nutrition objectives with the new production capacity allowing pursuit of income-generating ventures.
SOLAR POWERED COLD STORAGE
Solar power cold storage units offer individual farmers the means to storage milk and vegetable production, and for those interested to establish businesses or cooperatives for aggregating production for marketing. These ingenious units are self-contained, secure, and durable.
Water development improvements often satsify home, livestock agricultural and conservation objectives simultaneously. Using Brumby Pumps for well sites, and ram pumps and grundfos pumps when best-fit for surface sources, the RES Team is saving time, labor, money and water by using simple technologies for pumping and water distribution. Reliable water development reduces pressure on sensitive ecological areas, and improves water quality for residential uses. Opportunities to irrigate vegetable and crop plantings can also be realized in many locations.
Wool processing facilities will soon be providing opportunities for value-adding activities at a farm and/or community level.
HOME SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEMS
Home solar electric systems are providing power for lights, food preparation/preservation and communications for extremely rural residents located at great distances from commercial utility service.
These responsibilities have involved a wide range of small and medium sized business development and entrepreneurial trainings, as well as desperately needed renewable energy applications in Malawi and Kazakhstan to improve the livelihoods of rural farm households for food security, health, sanitation, water quality and agricultural production.
RES has joined Total Landcare Malawi and several International partners as part of the Kulera Biodiversity Project in Malawi, East Africa.
The project focuses on natural resource conservation, biodiversity, poverty reduction, food security, heath, enterprise and market development, and localized decision making capacity.
Using a Community Based Natural Resource Management approach, RES and other team members are working with local colleagues in providing training and education and developing agricultural, value added and eco-tourism ventures for household and community benefit.
As the technical lead on the renewable energy task list RES will be installing solar electric systems at 300 rural schools. With only a small percentage of the country served by an electric utility, these solar units will supply power for food preparation and preservation, hygiene and health, and for education. At the same time, local entrepreneurs are learning about the technology preparatory to expanding solar capacity with their own installation and service businesses.
With sister organization, Rural Community Solutions, RES joined Washingon State University and the United Farmers of Kazakhstan to identify opportunities for small business creation, and to increase agricultural productivity for food security in the former Soviet republic.
RES serves as the Technical Lead for Renewable Energy and as the Business Trainer for the project.
RES team members will be helping Kazakhstanis to establish cold storage centers for food preservation and processing. This capability will improve food security while providing the means of adding value to commodities for marketing and income generation. Training first-time business entrepreneurs will be a part of this project emphasis.
Rural farm operators rely upon large herds of livestock for food and income. RES is creating capacity with water development and distribution systems using solar and wind power and ram pumps which will allow better livestock grazing distribution and forage utilization, while reducing degredation of streamsides and communal well areas. Establishing infrastructure for water development will also allow improvements in crop and vegetable production.