Uganda is a beautiful country with fertile soil and favorable weather. It is also home to the second largest fresh water lake in the world and the longest river. And it has two growing seasons with two rainy seasons as well. It seems like it should be the Garden of Eden for farmers.
Facts about Uganda
Population: 35 million
Life expectancy: 54 years
Population in rural areas: 86%
People working in agriculture: 82%
Some 86% of Uganda’s population live in rural areas and the vast majority of them earn their living from farming. But most of them are merely sustenance farmers barely growing enough food for just their own family to survive.
These small-scale farmers often struggle to produce enough food, because of:
- Small plots of land
- Lack of education or training
- No access to fair credit
- Poor quality seeds
- Lack of crop management skills
- Poor soil management techniques.
When they do have a surplus straight after harvesting, prices are at their lowest and farmers struggle to make money at local food markets. Sound familiar? This creates a vicious cycle in which farmers grow discouraged and have little incentive to invest in new techniques or go through training to try to raise production levels.
Uganda’s people are poor and they are hungry.
Meet Margaret. She believes things can change. Through farming.
Margaret is a beautiful, Ugandan woman with a love for hard work and farming. She believes with all her heart that one of the best ways for a woman to feed her family, educate her children and provide extra income for a better tomorrow is farming. In fact, she is convinced that when women farm together they can even transform their community together.
That is why Margaret, along with several other women, formed what they call, “The Purpose Driven Women’s Empowerment Group.” It is a community based co-operative of women working together to improve their lives through several different small businesses. One of those businesses is farming.
Global Seed Planters agrees with Margaret. In fact, we have been investing in this group for a few years now. We have bought them basic manual farming tools, 2 teams of oxen and ox plows to till their land, seed and fertilizer for planting seasons, and a manual irrigation system to help water their crops and gardens during dry season.
This spring we invested in sending Margaret for a week long training on farming God’s way. It has the potential to revolutionize the way she and the ladies farm in the future. Better yet, Margaret is confident that the techniques she learned has the potential to greatly increase their yield and their income.
So, Margaret and the ladies are eager to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and do the hard work of manual labor. They are committed to work hard to provide for the basics. That means a better diet for their families, improved health, and enough income to pay for their children’s school fees. Beyond that, they dream of someday being able to build a nicer home so they can move out of their mud hut with the grass thatched roof.
Margaret and the ladies are very bold. They are not asking for a handout. They do not want one more truck load of relief through a delivery of rice, wheat and beans. Instead they want to experience the privilege of growing their own food to provide for their families. And with it, they want to grow back their dignity as well…the dignity they lost when living in concentration camps where food was provided instead of grown. To do that, they need help to buy some land
Did you know that only 1% of the land in the world is owned by women?
Margaret wants to change that too! Here is the proposal she gave us.
- $2,500-Purchase 20 additional acres of land for the Women’s Empowerment Group
- $850-To open 28 acres of land for planting
- $650- Fence in 10 acres for the group’s oxen
- $2,000-Dig and stock a 45’ x 75’ Tilapia Fish Pond
I think it sounds like a good proposal. Margaret and the ladies sound like a solid investment! Let’s help them get on their feet and improve their lives. You will help to feed over 100 people. How often have you had a chance to help so many women and their families for $6,000? That’s a real bargain if I ever heard of one!
Are any of you ladies in? Hey farm gals reading this, let’s help Margaret and the ladies do this! How about any of you church ladies circles? We are all about the food, right? Let’s help these ladies put food on their tables too!
We can. It’s farming time in Uganda. Let’s get this done.