AFIRD HISTORY STORY SERIES - Omw. Lydia Jjemba
My experience as a beneficiary of AFIRD
My name is Namwebe Pross, I am a farmer and an owner of a tree nursery bed business along Kampala-Hoima Road.
Documenting the history of AFIRD is such a great idea, for all concerned to know where AFIRD has come from is indeed important. I do not exactly remember when my first encounter with AFIRD was, but I figure it was between the years 20011 and 20012. when AFIRD came to our sub-county, they helped us form farmer groups and trained us in vegetable production, starting from managing seedlings, mixing manure into the soil, and making vegetable garden designs.
I did not pursue my education to any high levels, but I consider myself a learned person all because of AFIRD, I was taught a lot of things that have enabled me to achieve and fend for myself, and support my business. The roots of my nursery bed business are all based on what AFIRD taught me. It was during the training in the nursery bed business that I developed this dream. I got so interested that deep down in me I knew this was something I wanted to do as a business and was ready to invest in my effort. Initially, they taught us techniques of grafting, I was very active in this lesson, and in my group, I was among the first to succeed at grafting trees, they trained us on how to mix soil for potting, planting using both seeds, cuttings (which I did not know was possible before) and everything about managing a nursery bed.
The benefits I have gained from AFIRD are enormous, today I can manage my nursery bed using the technologies I learned from AFIRD and also those I have learned over the years both through experience and from my fellow farmers in the same business. I can fend for my family, feed my children and send them to school, I Have also engaged my children in my work and they have learned all the basics about tree nursery bed management because even in my absence, they can come and cover up for me.
During the years of our farmer group working actively with AFIRD, a lot of exciting events happened including donor visits and exposure visits, but my most memorable is the exhibition I attended in Lugogo, AFIRD facilitated us to go for the exhibition. It is from this exhibition that I learned from other participants how to control cutworms from destroying my seedlings. For quite some time I was facing this challenge, planting my seeds, and right after they would germinate, cutworms would cut the seedlings, this I shared with other exhibitors and they advised me to plant trap crops. So together with my seed, I would plant grass too, and this way the cutworms now cut the grass instead of my seedlings. Up until today this technique still works for me. AFIRD’s biggest achievement for me is getting her own home and going out of renting. This gave me much joy and assurance that they are now close and that we can always access them for technical assistance.
AFIRD loves to see people developing and always loves to encourage people to work. So, I think it is deemed to grow bigger and extend its support to other parts of the country, encourage more people, and I hope that our children too can get to benefit in the future
Narrated by: Ms. Namwebe Prossy
Written by: Nakiwala Gloria