Earnest shared these amazing photos of his kitchen garden and kroilers. I thought they were pretty cool for a status update. He, his wife Kedress and the kids were rearing kroiler chicken at home. The chickens were doing quite okay for first time farmers. Plus with the kids around because of COVID, it seemed one exciting family engagement of the year! They were learning so much together. Sure, he complained about the work it comes with but lucky for him, they were quite enough hands to care for the chicks.
Any waste, they poured onto the kitchen garden. Earnest and the kids tend to a vegetable garden of nakati, sukuma wiki and amaranthus. They intercropped some maize in it. What’s the year’s last harvest season without fresh corn to munch away? And straight from the garden to the roast pit, theirs is truly a season to tell!
Kedress occasionally plants some matooke suckers in the backyard. Afterall, a Mukiga and a plate of steaming matooke are inseparable. Hers, is a garden well-tended to for a ‘town- wife.’ She grew beans and ground nuts this past season. She occasionally travels to the Rukungiri to tend to some eucalyptus she and Earnest grew.
‘Family farming (including all family-based agricultural activities) is the means of organising agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family labour, including both women’s and men’s. The family and the farm are linked, co-evolve and combine economic, environmental, social and cultural functions.’FAO
Uganda relies predominantly on agriculture. Earnest’s experience is not entirely uncommon. Even in the townships, you find some sort of farming going on. Uganda’s largest population is mostly rural, so a focus on small scale farmers is simply necessary. The United Nations Decade of Family Farming focuses on small scale farmers.
Family farms avail and provide access to nutritious food aside from generating incomes. Small scale farmers are knowledgeable in the indigenous craft when caring for and tilling land. The UN recognises this and advocates for small scale farmers through a Global Action Plan to achieve the sustainable development goals.
Hunger and poverty, were the challenges the decade of family farming sought to solve. In 2017 the United Nations General Assembly declared 2019-2028 as the UN Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF). Countries may draw upon the UNDFF to promote investments that support family farming. Investing in small scale farmers at its core promotes the sustainable development agenda.
“Gardening is fun for the kids and this year we’ve spent a lot of time together. Besides having a fresh supply of vegetables all round, we are able to earn an income from the chicken project.“Earnest says
Living in a low income country with a youthful population over scores your need to get involved and understand how as a small scale farmer you fit in. After all, our major livelihood revolves around farming in Uganda.