DOUBLE PORTION FARM AND VTC
After purchasing 20 acres of farm land in 2007, we spent several years using the local methods to grow food for the kids. Since 2010, though, we’ve been using a training and cultivation method called Farming God’s Way; a system built and founded by a Zimbabwean farmer that is designed specifically for poor, rural farmers. Since we started, we have watched our soil become healthier, softer, and even darker in color every planting season. Joshua, one of the students from our first year long class has become the farm manager and the trainer for our Vocational Training Center. Our farm has since become the main training facility for Farming God’s Way in the whole country of Uganda. We’ve had students from all over the country, and even from abroad, come to study Farming God’s Way with us. Additionally, we've seen our crop outputs double since using Farming God's Way; yields that are then distributed to WCIA, getting us one step closer to sustainability.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT:
Farming is a huge part of Uganda’s economy. Agriculture is 34 percent of the country’s GDP and 80 percent of the population is involved in farming. That means that 80 percent of the population of Uganda depends on farming, at least to some extent, for their livelihood. The majority of these farmers, though, are subsistence farmers. They grow enough food to feed their families, and make a little bit of money, but most of them don’t even make enough money to send their kids to school.
American Foreign Policy is trying to push GMO seeds on countries like Uganda as a part of their foreign aid plans, which would actually make those small farmers more leveraged in their business. They might get some higher yields, but they would also have many more expenses every year. They’d have to buy new seeds every season, rather than harvest their own, and they’d have to pay for expensive fertilizers.
Farming God’s Way encourages farmers to invest in their soil by using healthy inputs and fertilizers, and by mulching, rather than using the typical slash and burn methods. After just 5 seasons of planting using Farming God’s Way, crop outputs are supposed to double because the soil has been rehabilitated by all the nutrients being poured into it. Better yields means farmers will not only be able to supply food or their families, but they will also have enough to sell and gain some extra income.
The Farm has some of the most clear growth steps ahead of it. One of the main Farming God’s Way philosophies is doing everything to the highest standard. We start off small, do things well, and only grow as much as we can manage. As of right now, we are farming just a small fraction of the land as we’ve been mastering Farming God’s Way. Now, our next step is simply to increase the acreage we are farming.
We also want to continue growing the VTC (Vocational Training Center) program. We have a few buildings (Dorm, Storage, & Classrooms) on the farm where our farm staff lives, learns, and also where we store the crops and seeds that we’ve harvested. As we continue to grow the VTC and the farm becomes a model of productivity by showing the benefits of using Farming God’s Way, we hope to build out student housing and guest housing for the farm, so we can continue to invite people in and teach them about what has been so incredibly beneficial to us.