School Vegetable Garden Project – part 1
“To develop a school vegetable garden at BOLIGUDA primary school. This garden will supply vegetables, which can be used in children’s mid-day meal throughout the academic year thereby providing necessary nutrients to the children.”
BOLIGUDA is a hamlet in the boipariguda block of the koraput district, Orissa. It comes under chandrapada panchayat. It has 86 households with a population of around 500. The population is predominantly ST. The primary school (class 0 to 5) in boliguda has one teacher and 31 students. Out of 31 students, 16 are girls and 15 are boys.
Afternoon meal is provided to the children through the mid-day meal scheme. According to the present provisions rice, dal and soya bean are provided by the government but eggs and vegetables are bought locally from the market by the SMC.
Mid-day meal provisions per child per day
|Vegetables||Rs 0.37||Locally bought by SMC|
Due to various reasons such as insufficient funds allocated per student for each commodity by the government, transport and storage issues, the children are often not provided vegetables in their mid-day meal. The only vegetable that is served now is potato and even that is served only twice a week.
The village is also cut off from the nearest vegetable market. The vegetable market is in boipariguda that is 8 km from the BOLIGUDA village and this remoteness makes it impractical to buy vegetables daily. Another issue is that the village itself doesn’t grow vegetables in a commercial scale. Whatever vegetables an individual family grows is just enough for their daily consumption.
Due to the unavailability of vegetables, children are robbed of vital micro nutrients that are needed for one’s physical and mental growth.
To tackle this issue a solution is proposed in the form of a school vegetable garden on the vacant land adjacent to the school. The goal of the project is that this vegetable garden will supply vegetables to the children throughout the academic year. The diagram below shows the plan of the school and the site of the proposed vegetable garden.
Government nutritional guidelines
|Mon & Thur||Rice – 100gm||Dal – 25gm||Veg – 25gm|
|Tue & Sat||Rice – 100gm||Soyabean-10gm||Veg – 100gm|
|Wed & Fri||Rice – 100gm||Egg (1)||Veg – 20gm|
Based on the table above:
For 1 week = (25*2 + 100*2 + 20*2) = 300 gm of vegetables are required for 1 child.
So for 31 children, 9300 gm i.e. 9.3 kg of vegetables is required for 31 children per week.
For a month we need 37 kg of vegetables to satisfy the vegetable needs of the school.
The idea is to see that at least 30kg per month is supplied from the school vegetable garden by employing good gardening practices. The types of vegetables and fruits that will be grown are papaya, drum stick, banana, brinjal, ladies finger, radish, pumpkin, chilli, carrot, tomato and spinach. This list was arrived to after discussing with students.
The stake holders involved in this project are students, school teacher and the school management committee (SMC).The technical guidance, seeds and other inputs like organic fertilizers and pesticides will be provided by MSSRF.
SMC consists of 12 members – 1 head master, 1 panchayat member, 9 guardians (i.e. SHG) and 1 student representative.
The scope of the youth in the village participating in this project is also getting looked into especially for the maintenance of the vegetable garden.
Important steps involved in the project
- Construction of temporary bamboo fence around the school ( depicted as a green outline the school diagram)
- Land and Soil preparation
- Sowing seeds
- Construction of permanent fence ( barbed wire fence) once the vegetable garden is ready for plucking.