Alingi Farmer’s Co-operative
Global SeedPlanters, began a village resettlement project in Gulu Province, Uganda in 2009. Our goal was to work with these farm families to help improve their lives and well-being of post war refugees through agriculture training and development. Owe desired to help create rural community transformation that was agriculturally based and self-sustainable. With this as our basis, we also wanted to address the practical community needs such as a place of worship, education, and health care.
The immediate challenge that we faced in post-civil war Uganda included: the closing of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, the accompanying lack of leadership, the ongoing effects of AIDS and other diseases, and the return of 1.5 million people to the land and places they once called “home.” Global Seed Planters envisioned creating a village resettlement co-op model to create a self-sustaining community of 40 family units (320 people).
The goal of this project was holistic in its approach. We desired to see the farmers and their families lives improve in every area-spiritually, physically, economically, mentally, educationally, emotionally, and socially. For that to happen we believed that God and His Word must be central in all we do. That is why the church was at the center of our Community Development Project. Jesus said that he came to give us life to the fullest. We believe it is in knowing and following Him that these farm families in Alingi will begin to experience a full life as they recover and rebuild their lives and communities after 23 years of war in northern Uganda.
We are convinced that the key to economic development and a better life in this region is agriculture. The land is fertile with two rainy seasons. Although there is a dry season, the land we are farming has a river that runs through it so with simple irrigation techniques we will be able to add a third season which will supply food for the market when the supply is low and prices are high. Our farmer’s co-operative has the potential of literally thousands of acres of land that could be opened and farmed. But the problem has been the high cost to clear and open this land that has not been farmed for over 23 years.
To reach these goals, the Alingi Farmer’s Co-op was created and a Board of Directors formed from spiritual, financial, educational, health and agricultural sectors, as well as village leaders. This team helped the community create and implement a master plan over several years that will have appropriate phases of development.
At first, simple homes were built and land will was cleared and opened again for farming. A Jesus centered Bible believing church was established at the heart and crossroads of this new community.
The next stage included instituting a microloan programs, cooperative farming strategies, and marketing of income generating goods. The next steps were to enlarge the farming capacity, begin simple irrigation techniques to improve yields, start a primary school, and open up a local health center.
This ambitious community development project has been achieved so far through strong local leaderships, shared ownership of goals and objectives, a successful microloan program, and strategic partnerships with other like minded individuals and organizations.