Samuel is a keen farmer. When FH Uganda offered agriculture workshops in his community, he jumped on the opportunity and quickly rose to become a Lead Farmer. He’s now running demonstration plots and teaching neighbours how to implement innovative farming solutions to increase the quality and quantity of their harvests.
As a father to five children between the ages of three and 14, Sam knows his success in farming is about more than turning a profit. He has mouths to feed! And he wants to give them the best possible nutrition to improve their health and future prospects.
Sam raises livestock (pigs and goats), grows fruit and veggie gardens on his compound, and conducts large-scale farming of maize, beans, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, millet, and groundnuts. An FH Uganda staff member sat down with Sam to ask about the role of FH in his farming success and in the life of his community.
|Goats give families milk to drink, manure to fertilize their gardens, income from the sale of kids, and, occasionally, meat!|
Q: What was life like in your community of Kitindya before you partnered with FH Uganda?
A: Formerly, education in my community had declined, but through FH programs of educating the community on the value of education, distribution of uniforms to pupils, training us on health and nutrition, distributing livestock and other farm inputs, my community has greatly changed. Water sources have also been rehabilitated and now we drink clean water.
Q: How has your community gotten involved in FH activities?
A: The involvement in the community has changed because community members are now aware of their rights and responsibilities. We were trained on asset ownership and inheritance and this has greatly empowered the community, especially women because they are now knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities, and cases of violence are reducing slowly.
Q: What FH trainings did you choose to take?
A: Am encouraged with FH programs because they are transparent in selecting beneficiaries and also identifying farmers for trainings, and the trainings are free of charge. As a Lead Farmer with FH, I have learned to do kitchen gardening, push-pull [technology], and Farming God’s Way. I have finished two years in these programs and the main activities include planting vegetables (onion, green pepper, cowpeas), fruit (pineapples, passion fruits, mangoes) and other crops like maize and beans.
Q: How did your agriculture training practically help your day-to-day living?
A: My life formerly was difficult because getting seeds for planting was not easy. But the trainings of FH on farming and livelihoods, and also supporting us with farm inputs [seeds and farm tools], has greatly changed my life physically and spiritually.
I have these gardens in my compound and some of the vegetables are consumed by my family and the rest is sold to earn me a small income that helps me provide for other family needs. I have a lot of fruits in my compound and this has improved my health and the health of my children. My life has changed because I am now empowered on how to maintain my gardens locally. My income has also improved and this has enabled me to join a Savings and Loans group in my community. This has helped me to pay school fees for my children and meet medical bills with ease. My family has also never lacked food.
Q: How do you feel about the changes that are happening in your community and family?
A: These changes and FH programs make me feel better and encouraged. Because ever since I got involved with FH programs, I have gained knowledge. I am actually a Lead Farmer in my community and I feel happy when community members approach me for support and see them getting better.
Q: What do you hope your community looks like going forward?
A: I would like my community to be more proactive in doing their work and also getting involved in FH Uganda programs so that they fight poverty in their homes and support the children such that in ten years or five, all our children don’t get married at an early age. I also want to see that there is no domestic violence in the homes, because some men have married more than one wife and yet they can’t support them and the children.
I want to be a loving and caring father [and husband] to both my children and my wife. I want my children to be good mannered, healthy, and attending school regularly.
I continue praying for FH leadership and also the field staff to continue with supporting our communities so that by the time they leave we are able to be self-reliant.
You can help more farmers like Sam multiply their harvests and boost their family’s food security. Learn more at Feeding Families.