We've set up fruit and vegetable gardens in two Ugandan Primary Schools to decrease malnourishment and teach agriculture practises.
In Uganda rural populations have limited access to trading markets and therefore find it difficult to make an income. This is a result of the bulk of rural households relying on the farming of small plots of land for survival rather than economic returns, which is called subsistence farming.
Results from a questionnaire interviewing 170 households in the Namwendwa Sub-County in 2011 found that all of the households used extremely basic farming techniques and relied on rainfall for irrigation. Furthermore, very few households planted cash crops or produced surplus food for retail and if they did have surplus produce they would often sell it for a very low price. Due to the livelihoods of many rural populations depending on adequate agricultural productivity for survival with little money to spend on food, but relying on basic farming techniques, they are extremely vulnerable to environmental conditions such as droughts. Over the last few years prolonged dry seasons have been reported in the Namwendwa Sub-County which have resulted in food shortages for the population.
Due to the lack of resilience the population has in coping with climatic variations, One Village's planned interventions aimed to provide households with knowledge and resources to help them overcome factors that were hampering their farming productivity.
Namwendwa Primary School:
The majority of the agriculture program at Namwendwa was dedicated to growing maize and the rest to cassava, potatoes, bananas and pineapples. From these crops, the students would receive maize porridge around four days a week and on the other day receive either potatoes or cassava with some beans and dodo.
Since the initiation of this program the aim was to hand it over to the community, so that it could be sustained independently, this was done at the beginning of 2014.
Butaaya Primary School:
Prior to 2011, the majority of students were not receiving a daily lunch because parents could not afford to supply the necessary maize and grinding fees –the exact same problem found at Namwendwa Primary before the implementation of the agriculture program. On that basis, a similar plot was established at Butaaya Primary School in September 2010 with the aim of growing enough maize to provide for student lunches.
At the beginning of 2014 this program was handed over to the school to ensure that it would not become dependent on external funds.
Nalango Secondary School:
Nalango Secondary School is very unique in that it managed to raise money to begin its own agriculture program. Therefore, One Village supports the school by educating one of the agriculture teachers about organic farming techniques that he can then teach his pupils.