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Small Scale farmers Lead  In  Organic Agriculture   

by Wangah Wanyama
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– Repurposed

Small scale  farming  is the lead  method  used in organic Agriculture, the Programme manager, Empowering Small Scale  Farmers in organic production, marketing and Advocacy(ESFROMA)  Caritus  Kampala  has said.

James Mutebi  said that small scale farmers who are in other words called small holder farmers who  are estimated to take 80% of the farming community in Uganda, produce relatively small food volumes on small plots of land compared to large or commercial-scale farmers.

‘’ These  farmers  produce primarily for local consumption, but their commodities, such as maize,  macadamia, avocado and vegetables like cabbages, carrots, nakati  find their way into the export market. In this  type of farming, the entire family and house hold ,has an important role to play in work and responsibilities on a farm  that are distributed between family members’ Mutebi said.

Mutebi says that small holder farmers  use the Farmer  Family Learning Group(FFLG)  approach  in   scaling up  organic Agriculture which is a  participatory learning-by-doing process where smallholder organic farmers come together  with the guidance of a “facilitator” to  find feasible solutions to improve their farming, based on what is naturally and locally available on their farms.

Signe Winding  Albjerg touring the stalls

He said that the  farmer family approach is developed out  of 5 to 30  famers  living in the same area   who  come together to  develop  a farming system of different farms created by each individual  who  continuously  interact and   build  the capacity of farmers to manage their soils, crops, animals, markets, seeds, farmer institutions and develop their community.

‘The approach brings together the family as a “farming unit” thus when the family hosts the FFLG members, each member of the host family participates in the “hosting. This method is rotational  where members  get   new  ideas from  each other’s   farms  that they can also  easily adapt on their farms’  Mutebi says.

Godfrey Bogere the Production and Quality  Assurance manager at Sulma foods said that approach has shown its strength in being a very cost effective agricultural advisory approach through which with very limited  resources and a  large number of smalls scale  farmers and  their families are empowered.

He said that the FFLG approach  has  contributed  to the fact  that more than 100,000 individuals, through participation in  FFLG  groups   have improved  their  food and nutrition security as well as income and environmental sustainability through organic farming.

Masereka Longino  the Chief  Education Officer( CEO)  Great lakes organic farmers Association(GLOFA) while presenting a paper on organic market Association in Rwenzori and their path to the market  said that the biggest challenge   the association has is  that  organic farmers produce perishable products which die the next day if not bought hence  farmers getting   frustrated. 

 He said that the only way this challenge can be curbed is to  construct storage facilities  with the help of government  for these products  and later add value on them by making them into powder form which gives them long life. 

 This   was at an  International Organic Farmer Family Agriculture(FFLG) conference that took place at Grand Global Hotel Makerere  14  November  2023 where over 100   farmers  attended  from  Uganda, Kenya , Zanzibar, Tanzania and   Denmark who displayed  thier organic   products   that were  toured by  Signe Winding  Albjerg   Danish Ambassador to Uganda.

 The  Danish Ambossodor  to Uganda Signe Winding Albjerg  looking at one of the organic products displayed at the organic conference.

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