Make Farming History

I imagine that you are familiar with the phrase ‘knowledge is power’, and with power and knowledge opportunities are born. Beatrice Adong aged 44, is a member of Aeronyero conservation farming group in Kinene village, Omel Sub County in the Gulu District.

Our last farming blog looked at the vital need for training in agriculture for communities. Here, part way through the agricultural season we hear from Beatrice who has been putting the conservation farming principles to work. She tells us why it is needed and what her hopes are.

Amigos worldwide

“Before taking up the conservation farming skills, we used to cultivate crops in a traditional way where seeds were sown randomly, no manure used, with a single crop cultivated on the same piece of land season after season. We knew nothing about conservation agriculture.”

It is this lack of knowledge and understanding which leads to a poor crop yield, which results in less food, less work and ultimately a very exhausted and frustrated community. Within a frustrated community conflict may arise, and in the case of Beatrice’s community, this was their reality as Beatrice articulates,

“Social conflict has been the order of the day especially when the low crop yield is associated with witchcraft and theft. These misconceptions about the low crop yield leave a big gap between one family and another and one person and another in our community.” Without the support of others and harmony among neighbours, farming and living become extremely difficult.

Amigos worldwide

When Amigos arrived in Kinene Village, Beatrice was eager to join the farming group. She recounts,

“After receiving training and gaining skills in conservation farming, my group planted one acre of maize intercropped with beans. We followed every step as taught during the training and the crops are growing very well – we expect to harvest over 15 bags of maize this season and it will be the first of its kind in our farming history.”

Amigos worldwide

The success of Beatrice’s story is exactly the impact that we at Amigos strive to help people achieve. Not only does the quantity of food look likely to increase but the quality of relationships have already improved. Beatrice explains,

“There is already a notable evidence of peace and harmony among the farming group members since we pray together and give total support to each other in times of hardship.” Bringing the community back together by empowering them with the knowledge of conservation farming has restored friendships and sparked hope for the farmers of Kinene village.

“This is just our first year working with Amigos, but the community is already overwhelmed with joy at the great opportunity this gives them and there is hope that the future is much brighter. We have decided as a group that in the second season, every member will have their own demonstration garden near their home which will increase the adoptability levels so that others can share in this bright future.”

Amigos worldwide