The Sector39 team decided to hold a small networking meeting to develop Uganda networks and were graciously offered to host the meeting at St Augustine’s International University, by Prof. of agriculture Charles Ssekyewa. The Sector39 team consisting of Helen, Gerald, Ali, Steve and Grace organised the event and around 20 people
turned up, students, lecturers and people from other organisations that work in the regenerative/permaculture sector.
The meeting began at 2pm
with Steve Jones opening with thoughts on permaculture work in UK, specifically food waste composting and linking that to horticulture training and community development in Wales.
This was followed by a
presentation on the work of Sector 39 in conjunction with NRC on permaculture with refugees from South Sudan and host Ugandan communities. We developed a ten day training programme which was delivered to 40 people from the refugee and host community, who will
in turn become advocates and trainers for their peers. The intention is to reach a further 200 people through a trainer of trainers programme.
The floor was then open
for attendees to talk about their own projects. We heard from Eustace Sajjabi from AFIRD (Agency for Integrated) Rural Development and Kiyimba Mugagga, from SCOPE (Schools and Colleges Permaculture Programme) Uganda . They spoke about their work in permaculture
in schools and the work of creating school gardens and food forests to provide nutrition and knowledge to pupils and teachers. They also spoke of the need to bring permaculture into the curriculum of schools across the whole of Uganda, following in the examples
of the work in the Zimbabwe schools curriculum.
We had associates from
Kulika Uganda, Magdelene Amujal and Harriet Ndagire. Kulika is an organisation working with small scale farmers to promote ecological and organic farming systems. They have a permaculture demo site in their offices in Kampala and are looking towards teaching
more about permaculture to their farmers.
Rogers Wasibi came from
Mbale to represent The Mount Elgon Coffee and Honey Cooperative. They have been working with the Size of Wales project to diversify the local community into agroforestry and reforestation projects inf the hilly areas of Mount Elgon, where there is a large
coffee growing industry. Prices of coffee can fluctuate massively leaving people economically exposed. Coffee is an understory shrub so can work well in conjunction with other trees. Rogers is interested in learning more about permaculture and how it can help
his cooperative of honey and coffee producers.
We heard from Gerald Jagwe
and Hellen Aanyuaujo about their work on developing the first East African Permaculture Association. They are beginning to focus on creating regional hubs that can be representatives of all areas across Uganda. They are in the early stages of formation, but
it’s an exciting and inspiring idea to network permaculture graduates and teachers across Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
We also heard from Prof.
Charles Ssekyewa about the development of the new agriculture department at St Augustine’s University and their interest in organic systems and permaculture. There is a hope from Charles that this meeting wont be the last and that this could be the beginning
of a regular yearly meet up.
We heard from Benoit Musabyimana
from BAC AGRITECH Ltd, a company in Rwanda. He is looking to begin organic waste recycling/composting centre in Kigali, using the compost to promote organic agriculture to local farmers.
We had around 6 agriculture
students from the University that were interested in finding more about permaculture.
Michael Kanaabi, from
NACRRI (National crops resources and research institute) talked about the need for more research on permaculture farming to create quantitative data on permaculture for small/large scale farmers. There were also ideas floated around that would make use of
students looking for research projects that help could create that much needed hard data and evidence of the benefits of permaculture systems.There was also a note that there was a lack of examples of larger scale (10/20 acres) permaculture projects.
We thank everyone for
attending and a big thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Westaway for promoting this meeting on social media. We really hope to continue this next year and to build on ideas together in the future.