My Name is Lukwago Umar Kiggundu of Kampala, Uganda. I have a degree in Education, aged 35 yrs. I deal in germinating tree seedlings and I strongly believe that trees are for life.
Trees are everything on this planet: its medicine, its food, and above all trees are sources of income.
Therefore, as teachers we came up with a fruit tree growing project of which I am the coordinator that is to benefit not an individual but the whole community.
In fact, this is an environmental education project. It has been found that participation by the people is essential for environmental protection program to be effective. Public participation requires a process of education, to inform people about their environment and the means of protecting it, and to encourage them to participate in environmental protection efforts.
The project targets schoolchildren and can get kids involved at an early age, so they will know from the beginning how important the environment is.
By focusing on Uganda’s children we hope that the Fruit Trees for Life project can educate a new “green generation”, who will be well-prepared for the task of protecting Uganda’s environment in the coming century.
It is also a reforestation project. Planting trees from seed is a very important aspect of Uganda’s environmental protection efforts. Trees can prevent soil erosion, improve air quality, help to counter the threat of global warming and provide habitat for indigenous animal life. Therefore, the usefulness and need for trees is very significant.
The project aims to build the capacity of young farmers from Kabasanda primary school to engage in or upscale integrated fruit and vegetable growing and agroforestry activities for improved food security and income generation for the school with minimum environmental damage.
The project also aims to address the pupils’ livelihood needs such as income generation, fuelwood, timber, fruit, fodder and other non-timber forest products while halting and reversing the trend of the forest loss and related environmental degradation in Butambala district. We plan to do this through promoting vegetable and fruit tree growing and agro-forestry systems.
Through such projects, the pupils and teachers of Kabasanda primary school in Kalamba sub-county, Butambala District, have mobilized to grow vegetables and plant trees for fruit. As a result, household food security, income generation for the school and biodiversity conservation have been enhanced.
Every year the school invests in a likely project. At least three school tree nurseries have been established to promote large-scale production of native marketable vegetables and fruit trees.
For the success of this project, teachers and students have already started clearing areas where the nursery beds are going to be. Based on past experience, the community always visits the school for tree fruits and vegetables and indeed the school has registered the project as a success.
Therefore, the success is measured on the high demand from clients and the community.
The project targets to plant at least 3,000 trees and vegetables over 12 months. The types of fruit trees and vegetables to be grown will include: avocado, mango, oranges, guava, jackfruit, papaya and passion fruit; cabbages, pineapple and egg plants, tomatoes and onions among others.
The project will involve the following substantive activities:
- Organise an awareness workshop on the potential and benefits of sustainable fruit growing, agroforestry and school gardening initiatives, including one for local leaders.
- Establish at least 3 nursery structures/ beds to provide seedlings to beneficiary groups.
- Undertake regular monitoring and evaluation of major activities.
The project will be implemented for 12 months in three main phases, namely: the preparatory phase, the implementation phase and the evaluation and reporting phase.
The preparatory phase (1-2 months) will involve establishment of the project steering committee, recruitment of the project staff, procurement of project equipment, and school/community mobilization and initial awareness-raising.
During the implementation phase (2-10 months), a series of activities will be undertaken including assisting young farmers to:
- Access improved seeds and seedlings;
- Acquire the necessary farm inputs;
- Establish group gardens, and other agro-enterprises;
- Adopt modern agricultural technologies and farming practices.
The second phase will also include most of the awareness and capacity-building activities including:
- Production of awareness materials;
- Seminars and training workshops.
The final phase (11-12 months) of the project will include evaluation and reporting activities, including:
- Shooting of the final documentary video about the project;
- Preparation and dissemination of the final evaluation report of the project.
At the end of the 12 months of the project, it is expected that the beneficiaries will be able to sustain their efforts without direct support from donors. Major training and awareness interventions will be aimed at creating primary beneficiary and school level independence and cooperation.
The project will cost a total 17,000,000/ Uganda Shillings ($5000) over a period of 18 months. Major undertakings will include the following:
- Organise awareness workshop on the potential and benefits of sustainable fruit growing, agroforestry (including tree growing) and school gardening initiatives including one for local leaders, estimated $1000 USD
- Seedling preparations, about 3,000 @ at $1 USD each totaling $3000 USD
- Undertake regular monitoring and evaluation of major activities including midterm project review, estimated $500 USD.
- Administrative costs for 4 administrators @ $100 USD each, totaling $400 USD.
- Award for the best participant $100 USD.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Lukwago Umar (Uganda) – luwagoumar123[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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