Food Security in Uganda

Yesterday, Peter gave us a tour of his farm—one that serves as a model for teaching the local communities how to support themselves and their families with food and money through agriculture. In a word, it was impressive.

For one thing, everything there had multiple uses. While I might look at a plant and see fruit for food, Peter also sees potential for shade, protection from soil erosion, leaves for wrapping food, good for animals, and cuttings to give out to other farmers so they could plant their own incredibly useful plant. Not only are his plants super resourceful, but so are his projects, such as his solar power initiative, where for a small price of $5 USD a family can power their cell phones, essential for communication between the farmers. This in turn saves more than a million shillings a year per family, as well as save them from having to pay for a sometimes dangerous ride into town to charge their cellphone. But his most impressive project is his new biomass plant that was finished today. The plant takes waste and converts it into methane gas that can be used to power the farm to heat stoves and give light. It also accelerates the breakdown of manure a vital fertilizer for growth at the farm. In addition, it also creates a pesticide that can be used to save crops from the insects that plague them. So not only does it help save trees from being burned in a stove and plants from being decimated by bugs, but it also saves money that would be used to provide light and heat for a house.