Younger generation in Uganda shows a strong basis for action on environmental care and good farming practices
by Lorna Brown
The tree nursery established on our land at Nakyaka has continued to flourish during the pandemic, but distribution has been difficult because of school closures and farmers naturally had to prioritise food production.
In spite of this, and thanks to the efforts of supervisor Charles Mugarura and his permaculture team, 15,385 fruit and timber trees have been distributed, and there are 4000 more tree seedlings and 1000 bamboos waiting in the nursery.
Bamboo propagation initially proved difficult, but now we have 12 species growing on the farm, and these are providing material for propagation.
The project, (partly funded by the Wales and Africa programme) will have a lasting beneficial effect in the Kamuli district – as schools and landowners now have an excellent source of planting materials and are aware of the great advantages of trees and bamboo for the environment, livelihoods and health.
The photo shows Haruna and Naknjaka taking trees from the nursery to plant in their fields. The farmers in our catchment have started a co-operative venture, with adult and youth wings to promote self-sufficiency.
There has been a hugely beneficial effect on schools and 7 more have asked to be involved, bringing the total to 16. Together with the training of teachers in permaculture over several years, and Charles’ astonishing achievement in getting Permaculture accepted onto the primary and junior secondary Ugandan national school curriculum, there is a strong basis for action on environmental care and good farming practices in the younger generation.
In addition, a great deal of planting of food crops has occurred under the supervision of Paul Musenero. Funds raised from this help to feed and pay workers and make improvements to the land.
It has not been possible to conduct training sessions for farmers and students this year, but the developments on the farm increase the potential for training in future. A major banana plantation of 700 is now maturing, and will provide a good shaded and moist environment for interplanting trees and crops as well as producing the staple banana food Matooke.
The water supply to the farm from the valley dam has never failed. We are now planning a project to help supply clean water to 300 farm households.