Community

Sustainable Community Learning Farm

by Center for Rural Transformation
Created Jun 29, 2020 | Nwoya
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Center for Rural Transformation (CRT) aims to help poor rural farmers learn modern techniques for Economic Empowerment and Improved Nutrition

The Problem:
Agriculture in Uganda is the backbone economic activity that employs nearly 80% of the population. As many as 65% of these are subsistence farmers who live hand to mouth and whose entire produce is largely for home consumption, with limited surplus for sale. Agriculture is thus the sector to be targeted to alleviate majority from the bondage of poverty.

There exist enormous potential for enhanced agricultural productivity owing to the availability of vast underutilized swathes of fertile arable land. However, most of the lowly-skilled subsistence farmers are engaged in rudimentary forms of farming, and depend mostly on rainfall, leaving them at the mercy of weather. With the changing climatic patterns, most farmers occasionally lose all their crops during bad weather such as drought. That is how the otherwise hardworking farming communities are perennially entrapped in the vicious circle of poverty.

Most farmers are not yet doing farming as a business, and thus their enterprise selection is done without basic understanding of market demand and prices. Extension workers who could have bridged this information gap are too thin on ground, and completely unavailable in some villages.

The Solution
Through Renaissance Demonstration Farm, farmers around the farm catchment area will have a unique opportunity to learn modern integrated farming techniques, focusing on high-value enterprises. Farmers can drop in at the center at any time of their convenience to learn. The broad arrays of skills will range from simple techniques such as backyard farming (e.g vertical sack) farming to enable farmers produce enough vegetables for home consumption to enhance food security and reverse malnutrition. Special farmers clinic will be held at the farm routinely to teach farmers on different agronomic practices.

Farmers will also practically learn about high yielding, fast-maturing, disease and pest resistant breeds, modern techniques such as irrigation, affordable greenhouse solutions, as well as how to make their own organic manures and pesticides cost-effectively. Farmers will also practically learn how they can get more yield and increase their incomes when they replicate the agronomy techniques at the demonstration farm.

Long Term Impact
The demonstration farm will enable all farmers to meet their nutritional needs and become prosperous as they improve their productivity upon applying the new skills acquired.

Farmers will have access to quality inputs from a number of dealers, as well as access to financial services through matchmaking with microfinance institutions in the weekly farmers training sessions.
The farm itself expects to replicate its model and scale up to new locations utilizing the streams of revenues from sale of produce from the farm.
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