Through funding from the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and advising from Slovenian nonprofit FER and local organization VEDCO, the Agriculture Collective is intended to ensure food sovereignty; address nutrition, gender inequality, food/water insecurity, and environmental health; and to build resilience to crisis in the HOCW community of refugees and locals. The 5 acre plot allows HOCW clients to cultivate crops and rear hens for self-sustenance.
For the duration of the project, VEDCO, an agricultural organization based in Kampala, will be monitoring the HOCW planters, training them in four phases: the first being clearing the land, the second disease and pest control, the third planting and harvesting, and finally, nutrition and food preparation. VEDCO implements Climate Smart Agriculture, a program supported by the FAO that uses harvesting practices in response to climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to achieve a sustainable food and water supply and build resilience. The crops that HOCW planters intend to harvest are maize, cassava, bananas, sweet potatoes, and other local vegetables. The swamp on site allows for four seasons of crops (rather than just the usual two) because of the accessibility of water and mineral-rich soil, along with better irrigation of the land. Local agronomists will help institute proper methods to recycle the soil and teach HOCW agriculturists how to use their own plants to get seeds for future planting. There are 70 beneficiaries: 50 women and 20 men.
The purpose of the Agriculture Collective is to assist the HOCW community in meeting basic nutritional needs through food and water security while teaching climate adaptation and stressing the importance of women's rights.
To learn more about the project or see updates, please go to our Facebook page.