Центр знаний об агроэкологии

''Who says my land cannot be productive? A farmer’s journey to a forest full of food security!''

We are Magdalene and Gillian, trainers working for Kulika Uganda. We are passionate about seeing that people engaged in agriculture adopt sustainable farming practices which are easy to implement and have benefits for the people and the planet. 

Kulika is a non-government organization working with rural communities to empower people to build their livelihoods and that of their communities with skills and technologies in Ecological Organic Agriculture alongside, social and business education and creative capacity building. 

Let us introduce to you Lovinsa, a farmer who lives with her husband and five children in Lutisi Village, Namayumba Sub-county, Wakiso district where they have two acres of land. The family used to grow bananas and legumes on this land but until they came to us they could not meet their food and income needs. Lovinsa was always looking for ways of increasing the productivity of their limited land and improving her farming activities. In her community, extension service workers hardly reached the farmers and this meant that farmers couldn’t get support to improve their farming methods. 


© Magdalene Amujal and Gillian Avako

When she learnt about Kulika Training Center through her friends, she made an effort to visit. During the visit, she was introduced to different agricultural technologies and practices. With encouragement and support from family and group members, Lovinsa then, full of excitement, registered to attend an eleven months Ecological Organic Agriculture Training course organized by Kulika Uganda. From the course, Lovinsa learned of a basket of options for family farming from which she could make choices. 

She was particularly interested in the food forest as a sustainable way of improving her farming systems. Lovinsa learnt ecological organic agricultural technologies and practices such as planting in rows, making organic manures, looking after livestock, agroforestry and integrating animals and crops. 

As trainers, part of the challenge of teaching this course is to help the farmers to let go of their conventional ways of farming which is not always easy. For example, training farmers to switch from one crop combination to a more convenient one is usually met with some resistance” 

The training has 11 modules, all structured to support the improvement of household agriculture. The trainees’ learning is divided into residential blocks (at Kulika Training Centre) and on-farm periods in between to allow utilization of knowledge and skills learnt. This enabled Lovinsa to practice what she learned. 

The frequent follow-up visits by Kulika field officers coupled with her own interest and commitment meant that Lovinsa and family members would develop confidence in the processes and start believing in themselves. This unlocked her potential which led to the success of her food forest.

She worked hard and followed all the steps, establishing a food forest in a quarter of an acre with the help of her family members as well as the group members. All the materials for establishing the food forests were obtained from her own savings and from the group members. 

Lovinsa learnt that household waste is valuable in contributing to the fertility of the land. She established rubbish holes for both biodegradables (crop refuse and peelings) and non-biodegradable materials (plastics, broken bottles etc.). That contributed not only to the manure for the plants but also to better sanitation at home.