uganda: food for thought...
Over the last ten years we have built a strong relationship with a group of small-scale farmers in Uganda who were introduced to us through the Kulika Trust. Kulika works on a very local level, teaching and promoting the use of sustainable farming techniques. Ten of their farmers have studied and worked at Riverford as part of their training and several of us have visited and worked in Uganda on their farms. There is even now the "Kasengi - Riverford" Organic training centre east of Kampala which Riverford and some of our staff have helped to support.
I originally went to Uganda because I wanted to see with my own eyes if organic farming could contribute in areas where it really counted. I was astounded to see how effective mixed, multi-canopy cropping integrated with livestock and combined with composting, good soil management and contouring for soil and water conservation, could be. In the tropics, where high temperatures mean that everything is speeded up, you see the effects of good and bad farming very quickly. These techniques, if well practised, can increase output, not by a few percent but by ten or twenty times and be truly sustainable. The peddlers of high input farming, who so frequently write off organic farming as, a "fad for the rich which will never feed the world" should go and take a look.
We have agreed to include some leaflets in this week