“Necessity Is The Mother Of Creation”

By Mary Nakirya and Karamagi Ednah

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Involving government, private sector & civil society in facilitating the grassroots rural person to improve their livelihood (source of income, health, food security, etc) through adopting a culture of “Open Development Initiatives”, “Knowledge Sharing & Information Management”” … this is the core purpose of the CELAC Project.

When explaining the “open development initiative” to the farmers we normally use an example of an exercise book given out during trainings or forums. That they can decide to use it for notes, or give it to their children, or use as toilet paper, even to lit the stove. The most appropriate though would be to use it very sparingly for notes and the rest used for record keeping in their farms. The underlying message being that one should exploit their environment in the most productive and unselfish way. Little did we know that we sowed seeds with this message.

Mrs Wagutu, the chairperson for CELAC Butalejja District Farmers Network learnt the banana planting skill from the Knowledge fair organized by CELAC in Masaka district earlier this year. She though had one challenge: a bigger percentage of her land is sandy soil, like other areas in the district. So she dug deeper and bigger holes, placed in decomposed cow dung, mixed with her sandy soil and planted the banana stem. Today, she has 100 banana stems growing properly in sandy soil. She is one of the few farmers in the district growing Matooke and especially in the sandy soil areas. During our visit in July, she said that she was ready to share the skill with other members who in turn will benefit from her stems and practise similarly.


In Sironko district, the CELAC farmers took us to their demonstration garden where we were surprised to find that they had successful intercropped maize with upland rice. They said they had been pre-empted by the thought that having a large expanse of rice crop would be disastrous if the winds came. This area is affected by heavy winds. And so they planted maize to act as windbreakers.


Mr Luzira, a member of CELAC Kayunga district shared with us his passion for pig rearing. He said that one of his major sources of income though he was faced with the challenge of feeding them as they increased in numbers. So he tried out a concoction of pounded dried cassava leaves, which he mixed in maize brand and gave them. Also, with his cows, whenever he slashes his paspalum lawn, he soaks the grass in saline solution made from local rock salt and water for 24 hours, sun dries them after and feeds the cows. This he said was working for him very well because he kept this meal for the drought seasons.


Another interesting incident was in Luwero district where we were lucky to meet a farmer who was about to be lynched by fellow farmers alleging that she was a witch and had bewitched their sweet potato gardens. The fact is that there was a caterpillar outbreak in the district and many farms were affected. She could not afford the pesticides and so used the concept that “when there is a dead body somewhere, people run away because of the smell”. So she tried harvesting the caterpillars, sun dried and pounded them, mixed with water and sprayed her garden. Within a few days, her garden was free of caterpillars because they are said to have either died or migrated to the neighbouring gardens.


Guess this stems from the fact that whenever one or even the animals are pushed to a corner, their natural instinct is to fight back so as to get away.


One response to this post.

  1. Thanks to brosdistaff for its programs,more especially the Agriculture and education program.


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