Umubano Good Luck Farmer Field School transforming farmers’ livelihoods in Nakaseke
Dan Batanda is a farmer from Ngoma Sub-County found in Nakaseke Districtin Central Uganda. He is a member of Umubano Good Luck Farmer Field School found in Ngoma Town Council in Nakaseke District.
Umubano has been in existence for 5 years now and is one of the strongest FFS group in the district and neighboring towns. It is comprised of members from a network of 22 Field Schools from Ngoma Town Council and Ngoma Sub-County.
Here is his story that he shared at the official launch of the Support Hub about how the Farmer Field Schools have helped them.
“We started as a small group during the time farming system was the local system that united farmers.
When we were introduced to the farmer Field Schools method through a FAO project, some of us embraced it but others did not; though they are now showing interest and voluntarily asking to join.
We began with only 8 member but have now grown to 45 members. We went a step ahead to register our group at Sub-County and District Level, we even have a certificate.
Umubano has helped us in such a way that we now have a voice in the area. We benefit a lot from Operation Wealth Creation.
We are amongst the first groups considered when distributing banana suckers, cassava, cuttings, etc. (Operation Wealth Creation is a project under the ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs in Uganda which helps in improving household incomes by facilitating commercial agricultural production)
As a group, we understood that climate change is for real and we started devising means of how to adapt to it. For instance, Nakaseke has more pastoralists than crop farmers and through the Field Schools, we are now discussing alternative options of farming and pasturing. Most pastoralists have now embraced the cultivation of crops due to interventions from the group.
We also integrated lessons on saving in the group and we have been saving for the past 4 years.When we started off with the eight members, we saved up to 15 million Shillings as a group but have now grown up to 68 million Shillings.