Over the last decade, Uganda has seen an increase in the use of chemicals and destructive modern farming practices among smallholder farmers. This in threatens food security and health by putting the rural poor at a disadvantage – threatening their land tenure and degrading the biodiversity. To reverse this, there is need to move back to regenerative farming practices that enhances food security and regenerates the biodiversity. However, there is a huge knowledge gap among the smallholder farmers – with much practical training needed to promote permaculture and regenerative farming.
It is against this background, that YICE has over the last six years been implementing regenerative farming activities – targeting smallholder farmers including the displaced populations in rural Uganda. Over this period, our approach has been the visiting farmers in their local communities and deliver practical trainings in permaculture and regenerative farming as well as establishing demonstration sites. While this approach has been successful, we would like to target audience to farmers outside the refugee communities, even from other countries in East Africa, and also law-makers and community representatives. The Centre will be a more permanent alternative to the current system and will enable people to learn methods of regenerative agriculture so they can incorporate these at their own homes and farms.
Having trained permaculture and regenerative farming for over six years on a “train and move” arrangement, in 2021 YICE designed to establish a base – and offer more formal and certified trainings to smallholder farmers and the young people. In addition, a lot of agricultural students in Uganda lack opportunities to carry out their practical placements. The permaculture learning center will offer an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge and learn from the garden. The initial Center funding has been provided through the Ashden Awards Grant for Regenerative Farming.