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European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) - Support Programme for Refugee settlements in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU) Livelihood and Labor Market Relevant Skills Development for Refugees & Host Communities

EUTF SPRS-NU
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A young man's journey to an inspiring world through vegetable growing

A young man's journey to an inspiring world through vegetable growing

My name is Butele Mansur. Iam 26 years old and from Rubangabini village, Maaji parish, Ukusijoni sub county, Adjumani district.

 In 2017 when CEFORD came to my village for community sensitization about Support Programme to the Refugees and Host Communities in Northern Uganda project, I fully attended the meeting of the programme.

Thereafter, I took interest to join the group formed as Tandrupasi Farmer Group with membership of 25 members. Out of which 11 males and 14 females and whose main source of income is agriculture.

 I attended four months of training with CEFORD on participatory agro enterprise development and village savings and loan association. This greatly opened our minds on farming as a business while ensuring both nutrition and food security in our individual households. Through the intensive training, I was able to move from the traditional ways of my great grandparent’s system of farming to a modern farming system.

This has greatly led to increased yields and   better quality of produce at the same time in my household. I also learnt how to do enterprise selection using the cost benefit analysis tool and keep good records as it is key for any successful agricultural venture.

Through the VSLA trainings, the saving culture and expenditure discipline was instilled in me. I started saving with the group.

But as time moved on, I expanded my gardens and started realizing much more incomes and decided to save also with Obongi saving cooperatives.

   It is only through the intervention of CEFORD that, I learnt about dry farming. So I currently venture into cabbage growing on a large scale, tomatoes and egg plants.

Despite the challenge of prolonged droughts in Adjumani district, I have managed to establish vegetable gardens along all season streams and also acquired a solar powered irrigation system from solar now so that I can constantly produce vegetables in dry season when the market demand is high and supply is low.

For this year, 2019, I planted cabbage on an acre of land in the first season. I spent 38,500 Uganda shillings on pesticides and market dues. I earned 927,000 Uganda shillings from the sale of vegetables most of which was bought from the garden.

Selling produce in the market has greatly reduced the expenses, I would have incurred such as market dues and transportation charges. CEFORD provided us with naro cass 1 cuttings in 2017 as startup package. I took good care of my garden. 

My biggest achievements is my ability to supply farmers with 105 bags of naro cas 1 cassava stocks, each at 35,000 Uganda shilling. I will expand my vegetable gardens, buy another irrigation pump and buy my wife a beautiful dress.

I thank European Union for their support and CEFORD for the advisory services and linking me to input dealers that has positively impacted on my life. My passion for the experience about farming was inherited from my ancestors.

C
ompiled By:  Michael Alumai, Adjumani District. Community facilitator, CEFORD

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