Small-scale organic agriculture in rural areas of Uganda like the Mama Rose Organic Farm in Fort Portal brings several benefits to children, their parents, the community and to the land. The regenerative project has the potential to improve livelihoods, promote environmental sustainability, and provide healthier food options for the local community.
Mama Rose Organic Farm at Sky Is The Limit school will eventually provide daily, nutritious meals to 400 schoolchildren, aged 3-14 years, including 45 residential children living with HIV/AIDS or who have lost one or both parents to the disease and who need a safe, caring, home.
Poverty is a significant challenge in Fort Portal, as it is in other rural areas of Uganda. Limited financial resources can make it difficult for families to afford an adequate and diverse diet, leading to reduced food security and malnutrition. The small-scale organic farm will offer practical training in agriculture to ten community members so that they can gain vital skills for employment, and provide for their families, as well as share their farming skills with others in their community. The project will help to combat malnutrition, focusing on the unique needs of the children attending the school and it will help them to concentrate at school, play and develop in a healthy way.
The Mama Rose Organic Farm project continues to flourish
The project was set up to fight poverty-induced malnutrition in over 400 children who attend the Sky is The Limit School. The Mama Rose Organic Farm trainees and team have shown their commitment to the children and the memory of Mama Rose Mugenyi by progressing the growing of a variety of vegetables and training 10 local people in organic farming methods.
Various vegetable gardens have been set up, amongst green peppers, cabbages, eggplants, carrots, onions, cauliflower, and so on. These will provide the children with vital minerals needed to fight off diseases and proper mental growth.
The farm has also grown 40 mushroom ‘gardens’ and harvesting has started. The local trainees, 5 women and 5 men, have also planted beans, soya beans, and bananas, which occupy an area of three-quarters of an acre. A 1-acre maize (long 10 variety) has also been planted and the farmers hope that this particular variety will provide the children with proteins and carbohydrates for their growth and strength.
Reducing dependence on food aid and community capacity building
Mama Rose Organic Farm is partnering with Micah Farm Institute, which is a Ministry of Education approved agricultural institution. At the moment, Micah Farm Institute is training 10 farm workers in organic farming practices in animal husbandry and crop growing. All the workers have gained basic skills and are able to carry out activities independently. The trainees are being encouraged to pass these skills on to fellow community members.
Restoring the land’s depleted resources caused by traditional farming methods
Through the training and guidance from Micah Farm Institute, new skills and practices have been learnt and are being practiced, such as:
- soil conservation through soil testing to establish soil nutrient content
- inter cropping
- crop rotation
Despite some unexpected setbacks, as well as inconsistent weather, hailstones, drought, maize stock pests impacting the project negatively, the Mama Rose Organic Farm is set to be well established by the end of 2023, as planned.