AFIRD HISTORY STORY SERIES - Ssebuwufu Edward Lubega

My experience as a beneficiary of AFIRD

My experience as a beneficiary of AFIRD

My name is Edward Ssebuufu Lubega, a retired leftenant, a wine processor and a farmer, I stay in Nzu LC1 in Namayumba sub county.

To see that AFIRD wants to explore where she has come from, and where she has reached gives me hope that perhaps she wants to use this information to better prepare for the future.

 

In 1999 Mr. Sajjabi and his team came to my home, they wanted to explore the possibilities of  solving the then common cassava mosaic disease. At first the AFIRD team spoke to my wife, because they were most interested in working with women due to them being more active and considered the vulnerable group.

 

My wife was tasked to mobilize a group of  fellow farmers that were interested in working together to solve the common problem of the cassava mosaic disease. She tricked the ladies into thinking that the experts she was requesting them to gather and meet up with, were going to train about home keeping as she knew they would otherwise not agree to meet the AFIRD team. The women showed up in great numbers and out of that group, she was able to make a group of 20 women, and I was the only man in the group. After our group was formed, we went ahead to help AFIRD select another village, far from ours, from which to mobilize and create another group like ours, so we selected Buwasa village.

 

Members were selected from the groups to go and attend a training in Namayumba. We all met up with members from different groups and shared ideas. The AFIRD team guided us through the process of creating a problem tree. We came up with up to 200 challenges, from which we selected three major ones. The first being that “we have over exploited our environment and we need to practice environmental conservation”, secondly, “we were using a lot of poor farming methods and practices so we needed to convert to sustainable farming”, and lastly “our market systems were poor and therefore failing us”.

 

It was after this problem analysis exercise that the trainings commenced, and they were focused on solving the challenges. AFIRD trained us from the year 1999 to 2003. We were trained by Dr. Sekatawa, Dr. Nyanzzi, Mr. Sebaduka, Madam Nankya all from RUCID together with the trainers from AFIRD.

 

 

The trainings went far beyond the initial goal of solving the cassava mosaic problem and we were trained in sustainable agriculture, environment conservation, soil and water conservation, tree planting, mulching, pasture management, animal housing and feeding, marketing, product specialization and most importantly branding. We were encouraged to work together in groups and as families.

We also went to a lot of exposure visits to RUCID, CARITUS MADO, among others and these were such great opportunities to visualize the future we were working for. Seeing what a tremendous job RUCID had done  in organic farming on only one acre of land was a lot to learn from, we wanted to be like them.

Narrated by:  Edward Ssebuufu Lubega

Written by:     Nakiwala Gloria

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