Planting For Hope Reaps Benefits of Good Harvest and Celebrates New Pigsties02 September 2014
Apollo Saku is a farmer, agricultural academic and project leader for Planting for Hope Uganda, a sustainable wealth creation programme aimed at empowering rural communities through farming and cooperative schemes.
Along with the Planting for Hope team, Apollo is teaching the Kititi and Bukunda people to farm sustainably and market produce and crafts through cooperatives.
The land currently under his stewardship lies to the west of Lake Victoria in the Kyanamukaaka region in the Masaka District of south west Uganda.
Here is a taste of how he is getting on…
The bulk of the harvest is complete with sweet potatoes performing very well and the maize crop in. The villagers are also able to report on the progress of their new pigsties, funded with help from people in the UK.
Sharing Fruits of Labour
Being a cooperative and a livestock enterprise, the Kititi people share food amongst themselves and the pigs, Apollo explains.
“We have already harvested all the maize which was planted in the first crop season which runs from March-May,” says Apollo.
“The harvested maize was taken to Bukunda, a nearby trading centre 8 kilometres from Kititi and ground into maize flour.
“The flour was evenly shared among the 50 women in the cooperative and some was taken to the elderly groups in the bush.
“We harvested 300 kgs of maize grains and when grinded we obtained 200 kgs of maize flour and 100 kgs in maize bran which was fed to our pigs.”
Sweet potatoes work as a cash crop for the village, raising money from local markets to buy necessities like salt, oil, sugar and matches.
The ‘huge harvest’ this year has been described as a confidence boost for the villagers, with Apollo sensing eagerness to plant more crops for the next season.
And he adds: “Once the rains start in September, female cooperative members will grow more vegetables straight away in their garden plots, this is to ensure continuous vegetable supply to Hope house and to the families in our catchment.”
The livestock enterprise has welcomed new pig sties in a new location in the village, erected by the women in the cooperative.