How SOWI is Changing Northern Uganda's Agriculture
Agriculture is key for Uganda’s economy. It employs 68% of the population and supports millions of farmers. It is critical for sustainable development and poverty reduction.
SOWI works with communities to provide training and opportunities so that subsistence rural farmers get out of poverty. Learning better farming techniques, managing a farm, timely planting and quality seeds are crucial parts of agricultural production.
What SOWI's Sustainable Agriculture projects include:
• SOWI supports sustainable agriculture by encouraging organic farming. Farmers are being trained on sustainable organic farming based on the traditional methods they know.
• SOWI purely promotes organic farming; thus, farmers are facilitated to identify plants with protective substances such as marigold, red pepper, chilies, onions, leaks, garlic, tomatoes leaves, lantana camara and neem. They are facilitated on how to prepare solution out of each that is later used to spray the crops that are affected by disease or pests.
• SOWI takes initiatives to link farmers to markets for their produce are shaping the destiny of rural farming communities.
• SOWI trains beneficiaries on basic veterinary care, production and marketing of goats and pork.
Components under sustainable agriculture include soil and water conservation, seed and planting materials, kitchen gardening, post-harvest management, formation of production groups, value addition and cooperative management.
Use of Soil and Water Conservation
Use of soil and water conservation methods like digging of contours and cut off drainage, agro-forestry. Most farmers confessed that their soil is no longer fertile and that is why they get very low crop yield. Methods like digging contours to cut the running water and cut-off drainage at the edge of the compound to trap the running water which enhances good vegetable growing.
Formation of Farmers into Marketing Groups
The idea of people in the same economic activity grouping to increase production and profits began in Uganda 1913. For years, Uganda had cooperative societies but they collapsed during twenty years of civil war, resulting in abject poverty in northern Uganda.
Now, revamping cooperative societies for group marketing of farmer produce is the only option to reduce poverty. At the village level, smallholder farmers shall collect their produce at a spot before it is transported to the cooperative store for group marketing.
The target is for farmers to get good quality produce which should compete in the world market. We believe cooperatives will build unity, trust, and organizational skills among them. Formation of farmers into a marketing group is the last stage with strong leaders, bulking store equipped with value addition machines.
Quality seed selection and multiplication
SOWI trains farmers on how to select and multiply quality seeds and planting materials. Seeds and planting materials are provided once and ensure its continuity. This ensures good seed quality for better yields and harvest. Farmers always apply the techniques each time they prepare for planting their crops.
Together, we're building a more sustainable future for subsistent rural farmers—and we invite you to be an important part of this life-changing journey. Thank you for your support!