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Going the extra mile

Farmers' groups in Uganda use More and Better Food.

When Daliah Nabunnya rides her motorbike to visit farmers, she feels proud. A woman on a motorbike is not a common sight in rural Uganda, but Daliah enjoys the benefits of riding her motorbike for her fieldwork - the ease of reaching farmers quickly and reporting back to the office in time.

Farmers’ group member Edith Bbosa has benefited from training in kitchen gardening by AFIRD staff

Daliah joined the Agency for Integrated Rural Community Development (AFIRD) in 2009, after graduating from Makerere University with a degree in Social Sciences. Today, she is one of the eight AFIRD field officers, four women and four men, who run workshops for farmers in rural communities. Their work includes education on cross-cutting issues including agriculture, health, poverty reduction and environmental protection. Workshops for farmers are part of AFIRD’s activities to encourage a network of information exchange and collective action. The Kampala-based NGO has reached over 1,000 small-scale farmers since its foundation in 1997, supporting 56 farmers’ groups, each of whom has been given a copy of CALLED TO CARE book 9, More and Better Food.

Daliah came across the CALLED TO CARE book More and Better Food in the AFIRD library. “The ideas picked from it have made me go an extra mile in performing my duties,” she says, adding that she feels “better equipped with a variety of skills to add to my fieldwork skills”. She has used the book when training farmers, and she and the farmers have already put many of the examples from More and Better Food into practice.

Geofrey Mulamata no longer buys fertilisers - he uses manure collected from his pigs, goats and chickens to improve crop yields

AFIRD promotes sustainable organic agriculture, particularly in terms of improving food security for people affected by HIV. AFIRD staff also educate farmers on local natural resource management and techniques such as soil and water conservation.

The programmes that Daliah and the other AFIRD Field Officers support have changed the way farmers look at the resources available to them, and many of the farmers have already adopted organic agricultural practices to improve their livelihoods.

For more information on the Agency for Integrated Rural Development (AFIRD) and their projects, please visit their website: www.afird.org