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Support Sustainable Land Management in Uganda

Requested by

The Vocational Training Centre, Jinja

Who are you trying to help? What issue are you trying to address?

We are the Vocational Training Centre Jinja and our target group is youth from very poor rural families who have dropped out of school. We aim to support these youth to acquire vocational life skills which can enable them to be self-sustaining and to become job creators. This will reduce unemployment among youths in the area.

Furthermore, bad farming practices in society have caused soil degradation and land degradation. This has led to food insecurity with in the community. We are aiming to introduce a modern farming practice known as Sustainable Land Management (SLM), using Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a tool, in order to address this issue.

CA aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture, and subsequently aims to improve livelihoods of farmers through the application of the three CA principles: minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations.

CA holds tremendous potential for all sizes of farms and agro-ecological systems, but its adoption is perhaps most urgently required by smallholder farmers, especially those facing acute labour shortages. It is a way to combine profitable agricultural production with environmental concerns and sustainability, and it has been proven to work in a variety of agro-ecological zones and farming systems. It is been perceived by practitioners as a valid tool for SLM. CA can only work optimally if the different technical areas are considered simultaneously in an integrated way.

What is your project and how will it help?

We are a community development project aimed at supporting youths, especially those who have dropped out of school, to get vocational and practical skills which can enable them to become self-employed.

While different youths will be trained in specific skills like hair dressing, tailoring or motor cycle repair, all of them will undertake a six month comprehensive Conservation Agriculture (CA) course which will equip them with specialized farming practices, including the basics of soil science, water retention practices and animal husbandry practices. The aim of this course is to help the youths to appreciate farming as a business, and to relate it to employment creation. The youths will also learn to value the land and what comes out of it, and this will change the current attitude whereby land in the rural areas is abandoned by youths who chose to go to urban cities in search for employment.

We have 16 acres of land to introduce Sustainable Land Management (SLM) to these youths. CA is a concept for resource-saving agricultural crop production. It strives to achieve acceptable profits with high and sustained production levels, while concurrently conserving the environment. CA is based on enhancing natural biological processes above and below the ground. Interventions such as mechanical soil tillage are reduced to an absolute minimum.

The training will emphasize minimum mechanical soil disturbance, direct planting of crop seeds, permanent organic soil cover, diversified crop rotations for annual crops or plant associations for perennial crops.

Food productivity will be increased, and this is being spearheaded by the youths in the community. Our programme will increase the amount of money flowing into the villages and homes where our graduates come from, through daily food purchases for their crops. These communities will start having very good access to fresh vegetables and food which has been missing in the past.

Other services like Agrovet shop services, banking services will become available as more people become richer and start to demand for these services. Land will appreciate as sustainable farming practices will be adopted.

More employment of the youths will also improve social values, e.g. anti-social behaviors like peer influence into bad behaviors such as premarital sex will reduce. This will reduce on the rate of HIV /AIDS infection among youths. Youths will begin to appreciate Vocational Education and more will want to join.

How can other people partner with you on your project?

- Giving financial support to the Community Vocational Training Centre.
- Offering technical support in the provision of vocational training and sustainable land management practices to the Youths.
- Providing opportunities to our trainees to come and visit the farms in other regions where this is successfully being implemented
- Providing real physical materials support like tractors and other farm equipment, and administration office support.
- Creating an enabling environment for the youths to effectively market their products.

Please detail the resources that you need.

- Funding of US$ 100,000 to clear the land, and to fence it using a solar electric fencing material with a chain link around it. The funding will also help us purchase quality seed for crops, pastures and quality stock for the livestock. These will be used as learning materials for the students. Part of this funding will meet the daily running costs including administrative costs.
- A tractor Mercy Fargson.
- An Irrigation pump with a generator and pipes
- Green House construction materials
- Water tanks to hold over 5000 cubic meters of water.


Contact details

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Categorisations

Partnership types

Project funding; Provision of goods

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Uganda

Global issues

Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry; Education and training

Responses

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