Today is actually Saturday the 26th and I am now playing catch up on my posts. Google Blogger has been giving me headaches as when I load it from Tanzania it changes the language to Swahili and no matter the approach I took with it I could not change the language to English. Today I got smart and logged into my home router via a VPN and now Blogger thinks I am sitting in Billings.
I traveled by car on Monday to the KALTI which is only about 40 km from the hotel I was at; however, that turns into an 1 1/2 hour drive through Moshi Town and across the country side to the training site. Upon my arrival I was immediately fed and continue to be fed four times a day ;).
After lunch Melkiades Msimbe (referred to as Msimbe (ph: mis sim be), the Operations Manager, took me on a tour of the facility.
(Msimbe on the left)
The center, owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Moshi, is composed of two strategic entities, the Production Center and the Training Center and are conveniently separated by the highway. The Production Center has several profit centers, Laying Hens, Pork, Diary, Fish (Talipia), Apiary, Grains (Maize and Sunflower).
The Poultry production is the main source of income for the institute with approximately 35,000 laying hens. The laying hens produce approximately the same number of eggs each laying cycle (a bit over a day) for the productive life (60 weeks). The institute buys the laying hens from Europe, mainly the Netherlands, as chicks and fly them here. The chicks are raised in a light controlled environment to bring them into production as rapidly as possible.
Workers gather the laid eggs daily and inspect them. Fertile eggs go to the hatchery they are incubated until hatched. A hatch occurs every Thursday, so currently there are 35,000 laying hens hatched a week that have to be sold. Customers come from all over Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya to purchase the chicks weekly.
The laying, incubating and rearing houses are strictly controlled to prevent the spread of disease. To aid in that effort there is a concrete area dug out of the drive way that is flooded with bleach and water as a bio-wash to ensure no bugs are carried into or out of the production area. Additionally, workers must wear protective coveralls and rubber boots; therefore, I have no pictures to share at this time.
The institute is located at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro which is the home to a rain forest; yet, the plain where the institute is at is arid which leaves the traveled areas of the ground looking like red dust.
(Maize stalks stored for diary feed) (Diary barn)
The institute runs about 40 head of diary with about 15 cows in daily milk production. Milking is done by hand here by laborers who earn about a dollar a day. They are raising about 25 pigs presently and building up their numbers to around 50 producing sows. The weaned pigs are sold as the primary product with culled sows and bores for meat production. The fishery was recently put into production as a test with its stock being consumed by the institute. Plans are afoot to ramp up production as a profit center.
The institute is composed of several hundred acres of irrigated crop land, half of which they have in production for Maize and Sunflower and the other half is rented out to farmers. The Maize and Sunflower are milled on site to create feed for the livestock and poultry operations. The institute has recently received a new grain processing machine from Germany that will be assembled in the coming weeks. The institute plans on ramping up it operations to produce grain feeds as a profit center.
On the north side of the road is the training institute housing approximately 200 women and 200 men from the ages of 18 - 23 studying agriculture production, hotel management, food preparation, tour and tour guiding. The programs are two years in length on a two semester per year cycle.
to attend the institute a prospective student applies through the central government; if they meet the minimal government standards the institute is notified of the arriving student.The cost per semester is approximately 1,000,000 Tanzanian shillings ($454 US). For that amount students are housed, fed, receive medical care and an education.
One of the projects being run at the training institute is a bio-gas capture program. Manure from the livestock classes is deposited into septic tank like repositories, doused with some water and gas is piped off to the kitchen for cooking. (Being on the equator there is no heat in any of the buildings here. Folks are amazed that my home has a heating system in it)
The training institute is used as a testing ground for production testing and presently the students are raising rabbits as a cash crop. Everything raised by the students during their course work is sold and the profits used to keep the cost of their education down.
Unlike its neighbor, Uganda, Tanzania has a vast supply of cement; therefore, most of the buildings are constructed of cement block. The institute runs it own rock crusher and brick making plants primarily for its own needs; however, excess aggregate and blocks are sold on the local economy.
Rock is purchased locally and fed through a crusher producing 3/4", 1/2", 1/4" aggregate and dust. All of the work except for the crushing machine is done by day laborers for about a dollar a day.
Running the crusher
Separating the aggregate
Stockpiling the aggregate.
The institute runs a Social Center that serves food and drink in a nice garden setting; a perfect place to relax at the end of a long day with a Kilimanjaro beer with new friends.