Environment Conservation and Animal Nutrition
Owing to climate change, increasing demand for livestock products such as milk, meat and by products like hides, skins and manure, dairy farmers in the cattle corridor districts with limited grazing land are being sensitized and trained in rangeland rehabilitation.
National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), identified and selected Dream Farm Kyakabunga Group with experience in quality pasture seed production, multiplication, conservation and utilization to host farmer field school and established forage demonstration garden to train dairy farmers in the cattle corridor Kiruhura District and to replace unpalatable natural pastures and invisible weeds with over sowing, boost fodder availability such as napier, lablab, chloris Guyana and multipurpose trees to reduce grazing pressure as well as environment conservation.
Improved Farming Systems for Persons with disabilities
Having been supported by Miva oneMen through Katalemwa Home for Rehabilitation Services with two brand new YAMAHA DT 125 motorcycles for outreach activities for children with disabilities, DFK staff were able to conduct community sensitization exercise, house to house baseline survey among families for persons with disabilities, Board appointed additional extension staff in charge of nutrition awareness. Hands on training for food security in sustainable farming systems and agro enterprise development were held at households for target beneficiaries to improve skills of farming for caretakers of children with disabilities to be able give proper diet to children with disabilities.
Sustainable farming practices led to improved household productivity by 25% hence making target beneficiaries food secure with enhanced knowledge in nutrition, income levels among benefiting participants increased by 20% owing to surplus home production. Beneficiaries gained skills to initiate agro income generating enterprises at household level. Motorcycles are used for group trainings, extension, monitoring and at times for transporting persons with disabilities to and from training venues as well as administrative work, this has increased staff access to rural remote communities in a timely manner and efficient in their work because of convenience.
Capacity building training aimed at enhancing institutional development of Dream Farm Kyakabunga Group in community participatory approaches and strengthening internal management structures. This was done by reaching out to 20 vulnerable women headed households organized in one group through agro-ecological farming trainings to sustainably produce sufficient family food for improved nutrition. The community outreach program helped beneficiaries to improve their livelihood but DFK also had an opportunity to strengthen capacities in project management and involvement of communities in decision making and participation.
The overall goal of this initiative was to build the professional and project capacity of DFK in non- governmental organization (NGO) management, priority areas included Institutional Development, Project Management, Community participation and decision- making. Two year consultative intervention and trainings were facilitated by St. Jude family projects with support from Quaker Service Australia (QSA) which strengthened DFK institutional development and was conducted at different venues such as at the NGO premises and in the neighborhoods as part of DFK understanding community participatory approaches.
There was 25% increase in food crop and land productivity, maize yields increased by 25%, beans 30% vegetables and fruits by 20%, gardens under sustainable farming practices increased all the twenty women headed families managed two nutritious food serving per day from one uncertain meal. Soil conservation and agro forestry expanded with more composting and few tree planting. Average monthly income reached Shs 90,000 among 43% of the participants from Shs 50,000, as a result of selling crops grown.
Board selected and appointed a volunteer part time health officer as part of strengthening NGO capacity for project implementation.Beneficiaries were sensitized and trained to follow Standard Operating Procedures for COVID-19 guidelines by a new health officer as well as community sanitation and hygiene. This improved feeding on balanced diet and care for people with disabilities especially children by their caretakers.
Access to water is the most basic of necessities for human beings and their domestic animals, and it is the first priority for any farmer’s planning in the Savannah dry range land in the South-Western Agro Ecological Zone.
With the increasing periods of drought and longer dry spells in our changing climate come implications for environmental conservation, water storage and utilization, household food security and livestock fodder production that we must heed.
Dream Farm Kyakabunga Group members, community members and project beneficiaries celebrated their partnership with Quaker Service Australia (QSA) with the excavation of a valley dam that now provides our community with an essential reserve of water close by that can be stored for long periods.
The goal of Quaker Service Australia’s International work is to assist the communities in the countries where they work to achieve a greater quality of life through improved food security and access to water, poverty alleviation and local capacity building.
Over 2017, Dream Farm and QSA are working together to enhance environmental conservation through a project focusing on water harvesting, crop and livestock production in Kiruhura District in south-western Uganda. This project aims to increase the number of farmers practicing conservation farming techniques, and partners agreed to start implementation by excavating to create the Community Dam which is now filled with clean rain water and providing enhanced water supply to 300 households in the area.
Benefits of having a Community Water Dam
Safe water supply for households and livestock
Community members will not need to travel so far to fetch water
Agro-forestry: this water will be used to irrigate nursery beds for newly planted tree.
Water harvesting will encourage pasture production and help to maintain livestock from starvation or death during droughts.
Expected flow-on effects
mproved nutrition and feed for livestock by irrigating pasture, legume and fodder tree gardens, resulting in healthier and more fertile animals.
Increased crop yields, milk and meat production for community beneficiaries hence reduction in poverty levels and greater food security
Environment conservation will be improved due to sufficient water for tree planting, pasture multiplication and intercropping.
Other Dream Farm initiatives
Through zero grazing and energy-saving technologies, animal wastes such as cow dung will be made available for biogas production. This will reduce communities’ dependence on wood fuel, thus reducing their encroachment Lake Mburo National Park and protected wild life areas.
The by-products of biogas production such as bio slurry will be used as soil amendments for soil fertility improvement thus improving crop yields, again reducing encroachment into the national park and forest reserves.
Bijubwe Primary School Leads
In 2016 Bijubwe Primary School committees, parents and teachers accepted to partner with Dream Farm Kyakabunga Group. DFK organized and facilitated trainings for all school stakeholders, teachers and students, the benefits of utilizing, turning desert, dusty school compound into productive gardens to feed students, teachers and for community members to learn from and enroll at their households.
Gardens were designed, fenced and planted with various crops and vegetable species, well managed, this improved micro climate, minimized dust and erosion, increased fresh fruits and vegetables for consumption, increased crop harvests which reduced expenses on food budget and improved nutrition for both students and teachers.
When we created a food forest, on a school land, children got practical skills and learnt to care for their environment. Above all, children from hunger stricken families got a meal at school which motivated them to stay longer at school, increased daily attendance and performance.
During Kiruhura District Education department monitoring and evaluation exercise, the team recommended the school as a model school in Nyakashashara sub county, students warn 2018 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) average in Kiruhura District with DIV-1, 18 students, DIV-2, 22 students and DIV-3, I student
Mandala Garden & handing over Barbed Wires to school management committees
Students gap filling gardens in the school compound and applying organic manure
Space utilization for crop production along school buildings
NARO Team Document Success Story
Research Students Tour Dream Farm
A group of master students led by Marion Jancovici from AgroParisTech, Agronomic School in France on research sponsored by Harveez an independent association to discover Sustainable and fair Agricultural models visited Dream Farm, the management hosted the group at the farm, briefed them about the NGO work in South Western Agro Ecological Zone dry range land cattle corridor especially in the dairy sector and working with marginalized communities and schools to improve their livelihoods.
Research students toured the farm projects that are appropriate for Climate Change Adaptation Innovations for food security, income generation, human and animal nutrition and environmental conservation. The group appreciated the role of Dream Farm Kyakabunga Group as they toured different project sites.
Quality Local Seed Business
NARO/NAADS Review Planning Meeting
Sustainability of LRDP Pasture Gardens
Lean Farming Denmark Visits Dream Farm
Hon Col (Rtd) Fred Mwesigye Member of Parliament for Nyabushozi County led a delegation from Denmark headed by Susanne Pejstrap CEO Management Consultant, Titus Kasujja and Capt LB Bush.
ISSD Partners with Dream Farm-Kyakabunga Group.
DDA and AFD-Paris France on Dairy Mission in the Region
Regional Manager- Mbarara, Dairy Development Authority Mr Aikiriza Steven led a team from Paris France, Agriculture, Rural Development, Biodiversity Sustainable Development Department on a learning visit in Uganda and their aim was to know challenges faced by Dairy Farmers in the Cattle Corridor particularly Water for Production.
FAO & NARO Co-operation Project
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) teams led by Doctor Joseph Ruhinda Kagoro from Mbarara Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute (MBAZARDI) and Mr Charles Owach Assistant FAO Representative, with officials from Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Mr Gao Shilin Director –level Consultant Division of International Co-operation P.R China toured Dream Farm Projects.