Mr. Festus Aluma, a 31-year-old from Uriama Sub-County in Uganda, is a member of Akino youth group which was formed in Jan 2019 under the STRENPO program implemented by RICE-WN with support from CARE International. Mr. Aluma is a model farmer with 1.5 acres of sorghum and ¾ acre of Okra for both food security and household income.
Before, RICE-WN interventions, Mr. Aluma used to cut down trees to get fuel wood to sell to Tobacco Companies. In the past, he would spend most of his earnings and savings on alcohol, farm at the small-scale for consumption, plant seeds in the garden, clear and burn bush for land preparation, plant without consideration of the seasonal calendar, and work without an action plan. These poor practices made Mr. Aluma’s land less fertile and this was frustrating him. However, after trainings on Enabling Rural Innovations Approach and VSLA methodology, Aluma has accomplished a lot in his farming life.
“I have planted 800 tree seedlings of White Teak supplied to me by RICE-WN, under the Environment Protection and Clean Energy project funded by UNHCR, and some mango and orange tree seedlings, obtained from Uriama Sub-County under Operation Wealth Creation Program. I am doing all this as my contribution to environment restoration since I cut down a lot of trees in the previous years,” said by Mr. Aluma.
Mr. Aluma is now one of the most committed members in his group. Out of his passion for a transformed society, Mr. Aluma offered a plot of land to his group to be used as a demonstration site for growing Sesame2.
“I personally feel proud because I used to only dig on small scale for consumption but now I have 1.5 acres of sorghum and ¾ of Okra, I have planted trees which are going to improve soil fertility of my land and am almost done with my permanent house. I thank RICE-WN and CARE International in Uganda for their transforming interventions and continuous support that has picked me from darkness to better life” Thank you!” said Mr. Aluma