Peter, with a jackfruit tree he planted in 2018
Meet Peter. Peter is from a village about a 45 minute drive from Gulu, the largest town in Northern Uganda. Generation after generation, his family has cultivated a wide array of crops–from millet and maize to peanuts and sesame–to provide for the family and live an abundant, albeit hard, life. Peter’s family depends on regular rain patterns to be able to support their livelihood; without a stable climate and dependable rains, Peter doesn’t know when to plant his seeds that will grow into healthy food crops.
Peter’s parents speak candidly about this fact–how for much of their lives rain was consistent and so too were the harvests of their many, diverse food crops. These days though, his parents speak of erratic weather–long droughts, flash floods, and general uncertainty. “Without rain, we have no food,” they comment. This statement is simple, yes, but its impact profound.
We are doing something about this. Through your help, the Native Seeds Project works directly with farmers to train them on climate change adaptation: educating farmers on the causes and onset of climate change, and perhaps more importantly, what they can do directly to mitigate its effect, and in turn, ensure that their food harvests are abundant enough to provide for their families.
How do we do this? Well, simply put, we plant trees. More complexly put, we work directly with farmers to survey their land and their needs to identify agroforestry systems that will restore soil hydrology, diversify farming systems, and reduce disaster risk in response to increasingly-volatile weather patterns.
This year, Peter planted fifty new trees on his family’s land, and attended three day-long trainings that equipped him with the knowledge he needs to confront the environmental issues facing him, his family, and his wider community. The result? a farmer who no longer feels helpless in the face of climate change, but rather a farmer who understands what is happening with the environment, and has a new toolkit on what he can do to work with his environment to ensure stability and success of his crops, his livelihood, and his community’s well-being.
This year, the Native Seeds Project trained 409 farmers just like Peter in climate change adaptation, and planted over 20,000 tree seedlings with them. Our team visits Peter and our other partner farmers on a regular basis throughout the year, ensuring the cementation of the knowledge they received during trainings, and ensuring the survival of the tree seedlings they’ve planted. This ongoing followup has formed a large network of climate change adaptation warriors: a vast community of farmers throughout Northern Uganda joining forces, joining hands, and joining a movement to create landscapes and communities more resilient.
As 2018 comes to a close, know that you are a part of Peter’s movement: without your support, farmers like Peter are unable to get the training and resources they need to combat climate change. So, from the bottom of Peter’s heart, and ours, thank you for being a Climate Change Adaptation Warrior. We hope you will continue to be warrior, alongside us.
From Northern Uganda to you,
Native Seeds Project team training farmers
A farmer receiving seedlings for planting