Preparing gardens for fruit and vegetables growing
During this time of the COVID-19 induced lockdown in Uganda, we are in our third month, three young adults, Innovators, that are undergoing our mentoring program, teamed up, designed a project , which they code named: “Food in Lawns”; and they authored a proposal for it, which they submitted to us at CPAR Uganda. They proposed thus:
“Vegetables and fruits play an important role in human diet. The growing of vegetables and fruits, horticulture, can be practiced profitably at both large and small scale.
We want to create a horticulture farm on the grounds of the CPAR Uganda Lira Learning Centre and which we will run ourselves.
We want to do so, as a way to demonstrate to youth that it is viable to grow vegetables and fruits in small spaces; and to encourage youth to get involved in fruits and vegetable growing.
Overall, it is our intention to produce ecologically clean vegetables and fruits, so as to make nutritious food available to our communities; while at the same time we generate income for ourselves.
We will grow vegetables during all seasons, including the dry season, when prices for vegetables and fruits are high.”
Well, with our in-kind support – land and site for their project; and with our technical and financial support, the “Food in Lawns” project is now already off the ground. The three Innovators cleared the land; bought seeds; and have planted the first batch of crops; currently growing in seedbeds and in-field.
Similarly, another Innovator, from among the first cohort of our program, reached out to us with the following request:
“During the lockdown, when the CPAR Uganda Lira Learning Centre was broken into, it is unfortunate that I fell victim too. Among the things that were stolen where my assets with which I was using to run CPAR’s kitchen. I lost my restaurant items – plates, flasks, and half a bag of charcoal. This incident has impacted heavily on me. My capital base has been grossly affected.
I am a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet. Currently, I am struggling to raise money to re-establish my business. I am doing so through farming in the village with my parents. I am looking at opening a small retail shop just where I am living now due to the COVID 19 situation.
I am requesting for any assistance you can give me so that I can rebuild my business and I will highly be grateful if my request is put under your kind consideration.”
We have approved her request and we will provide her with financial and technical support to re-establish her business at her ancestral home in their village in northern Uganda.
We intend to support her, with the view that in the longer-term her innovation shall also function as an inspiration for the younger generation in her community to join the fight against poverty, through coming up with and implementing pertinent innovative and viable enterprises.
You may want to note that the pandemic escalated right after we completed, in February, the first of four modules of our program. Our original plan was that we would complete three modules, before requesting our Innovators to implement their innovations to address at least one challenge that is negatively impacting their communities; innovations that they would have development under our mentorship.
Clearly, the pandemic has forced us to innovate; to jump to the end; and work backwards. Our working paradigm has shifted from “learn how it is done professionally and correctly, then do”; to “go ahead and do, and as you do you will learn how it is done professionally and correctly.”
That four of the eight Innovators that are continuing as the first cohort of our programme, successfully have already come up with such exciting projects, is testament, as well, of the effective delivery of our first module, “Understanding Poverty in Rural Uganda.”
Without your support, this would not have been possible and so we thank you.
Preparing gardens for vegetable and fruit growing