With over 37.58 million people inhabiting Uganda’s land and the population endlessly rising, climate and food security are mounting as global issues. As a solution to increasing food scarcity, both industrial and subsistence farmers have cleared forests today for agriculture.
Nevertheless, through Kikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization (KIRUCODO) a non-profit organization has predominantly focused on serving and enlightening rural agricultural communities on land use in order to benefit people, forests and the environment.
Its resilience program is steered by university students who use methods, tools, and profound skills learned from the university to sensitize rural tenants, youths, farmers, students, policy makers, institutions and entrepreneurs especially in agricultural communities. It emphasizes much on agroforestry systems such as; silvopastoral systems and agrosilvopastoral systems to optimize land usage. This is the only way we can give back to those in different communities who haven’t tapped into modern use of skills and agro-forestry technologies yet they are engaged in farming.
This agro-forestry sensitization program started two years back in early October with the theme: “How Agro-forestry combines agricultural and forestry techniques to create more varied productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable approaches to land use”. Towards the end of last year, 20 communities were passionate about this practice.
Due to sensitization and adoption of this idea by the local farmers, today 40 communities in central Uganda have resorted to agro-forestry majorly focusing on a wide range of trees that serve as fertilizers, soil improvers, fruit providers, fodder, fuel wood, and medicine.
Today, trees in farms are seen as a crucial bridge between forestry and agriculture, striking a balance between conservation and production. While Uganda’s forests diminish, more trees have been planted in farms, and small scale farmers are doing this for their own benefit and that of Mother Nature. On the other hand, it is a strategy to compliment the 15% forest cover advocated by the Ugandan government.
Through this noble partnership, as a youth trendsetter of KIRUCODO from Makerere University, I have gained experience in Agro-forestry systems. According to my findings and statistics, if done well, agro-forestry offers the best use of land if joined with innovative agricultural practices.
Text, photo and video are submitted by Stephen Kalyesubula (Uganda) – skalyesubula(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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