The district of Mukono was in the past viewed as a model in Uganda for agricultural activity. However with the increase in population and the consequent intensive cultivation of the land it has meant that the land itself has lost fertility and that many families are now living in precarious circumstances. At present the infantile mortality rate is 64.85% per thousand babies.
The creation of the Ssezibwa Demonstration Farm is an attempt to remedy a situation which is becoming increasingly dramatic. The main actions of the farm are to try and achieve a responsible economic management, an effective food production, and improved health of people.
More than 185 families have been chosen from the community, with particular attention in selection being placed on situations where mothers are pregnant, there are older family members, or families with children. Another 10 families considered as disadvantaged (HIV positive, disabled family members or widows with families to support) have been added. All these families have been introduced to the economic and production responsibilisation processes and to practical skills on how to use chicken excrement and waste from the pig styes to produce organic fertilizers.
At the end of a long educational and learning process, important objectives have been reached, as for example the emancipation of at least 60 families thanks to a greater appreciation of economic management and this bolstered by the constant tutorship of the organisation.
The total number benefitting from the project, and in consequence of the activity organised and the resulkts produced by the farm, is estimated to be 100 members of the community and all their families, plus 10 persons HIV positive, plus one hundred others made up of pregnant women, olderly people and families with children under 5 years of age.. The total number of indirect beneficiaries after 3 years of activity is deemed to be seven times the number of direct beneficiaries.
A representative of every beneficiary family is taught techniques of breeding and of modern agriculture, the training done by project trainers teaching a number of zootechnological, agricultural and domestic science principles. The donations of the Foundation have been used to purchase a thousand chicks, 40 pigs, 1 ton of seed, 1 chipper, 10 kilos of various seeds – mais, beans, peas, soya – and these have been distributed to those attending the agricultural training. Other piglets and chicks born subsequently the procedure is that the beneficiary keeps a number and the remaining number is handed over to the farm so as to enable a redistribution to future beneficiary families.
Aftewr the first harvest 5 kilos of seed must be handed back to the farm seed bank so as to provide for other beneficiaries. Moreover the beneficiaries are taught correct dietary processes by a nutritionist, and also included in the programme is how to grow nutritional rich vegetables near to their own house. At the Ssezibwua Demonstration Farm there has been included a module on the breeding of cat fish and tilapia. Fish bred are then distributed to pregnant mothers so as to improve their diet.
Furthermore a system of solar panels has been installed for the pumping of drinkable watercollected from the well on the property. A pump run on solar energy is not only more efficient but guarantess fewer costs and less acoustic and environmental pollution. To be able to have a high yield from the farm's agricultural land and not be dependent on the climatic seasons 4 water cisterns in PVC, having a capacity of 10,000 litres each, have been purchased. In the cisterns water pumped from the well will be held and distributed to the fields being cultivated when necessary. The Ssezibwa Demonstration Farm is a classic example of how with very little one can achieve a lot, and above all something concrete in nature and of ongoing value and return – it a great example of emancipation through the sharing of knowledge and resources.
We are very happy and pround that from al least one year now the Ssezibwua Demonstration Farm is able to sustain itself and is no longer dependent on an external resource.