Twenty years of war destroyed the agricultural capacity of Northern Uganda. Skills were lost, crops were stolen and land abandoned. As the primary producers of food, women bore the brunt of the conflict. In today’s post-conflict environment, most of African Women Rising women rely on agriculture as their main source of income.
Field crops, such as maize or sorghum, provide the majority of their food and any excess is sold to pay for school fees, health care or other costs. Any stress, such as drought or floods, can cause farmers to lose large parts of their harvest, as can lack of knowledge of basic agronomic practices.
Organic Field Crop Production Program
Even in a good year many farmers experience seasonal household hunger. Based upon discussions with the women, our training in agriculture have a two-pronged approach to increase the availability, accessibility and utilization of food. The Organic Field Crop Production Program is designed to sustainably increase food production by building women’s agro-ecological skills.
The Perma-gardening Program was developed to ensure year-round access to nutritious vegetables and fruit through the establishment of small vegetable gardens around the home.
Our project outcomes and long-term impact have broad ramifications and include increased soil fertility, increased crop yields, better diet and nutritional intake, increased income for participants and increased access to healthcare and schooling.
Both the Field Crop and the Permagardening Programs are built around participatory approaches designed to maximize exposure to practical lessons. The programs last for one year and follow the seasonal cropping cycle so that farmers can immediately implement what they learn.