Economic Development Ministry (Economic Groups and Agriculture Program)

UCSS embarked more on commercializing the economic development and agricultural programme. Agricultural specialists from Makerere University came to Bulike to train UCSS staff and community members in commercial farming to maximise yields and profits. UCSS also recruited more workers to boost large-scale farming on its model farms.

Engagement in several farming and economic activities has been emphasized in different groups such as Leaders’ groups, Teachers’ groups, Women’s groups (Bead/craft making and goat rearing), Tailoring groups. Activities such as vegetable growing, banana planting, fruit growing trees, coffee, and pineapple growing, beekeeping and poultry rearing were also strengthened towards commercialization. Irrigation has also been done on some parts of the farms.

Through these groups, community members are empowered to engage themselves in income-generating projects and other small business activities, with the aim of transforming the economic status of the community. Women who used to spend most of their time digging for subsistence only can now earn some income. The men who occupied themselves with just a few activities like hunting small animals are also benefitting from these economic activities.

  • The economic group savings program requires each member to pay weekly into a “savings co-op” and over time, each economic group gets the benefit of the program by being able to use the savings to purchase cattle, seedlings, or other income-producing assets. So far, 20 of the 21 economic Groups have benefitted from the group savings program.
  • All 13 members of the teachers, nurses, and farm managers’ savings group were engaged in several business and personal development activities through their group savings scheme. For instance, the Bulike Community P/S headmaster Mr. Jatemwa, Mr. Balenzi, a school teacher and Pastor Henry have are now proud owners of new houses. Teachers Dodovic and Maureen also started cattle keeping, and agricultural produce businesses respectively.
  • Pineapple suckers were given out to selected community members who received training on pineapple growing.
  • The poultry farm output currently stands at 20 trays of eggs daily at a cost of $2.25
  • The second lot of 26 tailoring students graduated in February 2016. The next intake have begun tailoring lessons.
  • UCSS launched the cattle keeping and goat rearing projects with 3 cows and 12 goats as start-up stock and this will help in providing manure for soil fertility, besides raising income through milk and beef selling.
  • Vegetable growing (bitter berries and hot pepper) was also done on two acres of land.
  • We have continued to apply manure to the soil in the farms to revive its fertility.
  • Spraying of crops to fight pests and diseases is still going on.
  • Tractor implements for the farm and a water rig were donated and are expected to improve the productivity on the farms.
  • In this period, we acquired  an additional 23 acres on James farm and 6 acres have been used for a banana growing project.

Below is a visual map of the various land, farms, and buildings owned by UCSS, including size, name, and distances. Note that “3a” indicates “3 acres”.

image055

Below is a summary of the current activities on the different farm:

Farm name and size

Activity

Quantity

James Farm (A) (14.9 Acres) plus the newly acquired 23 Acres on addition  

Dug ponds at a water channel and laid pipes and have a 10,000 gallon tank

Pine trees

6

Banana Suckers

1,200

Oranges

120

Musizi trees

10

Mangoes

720

Bitter berries

1.5 acres

Hot pepper

0.5 acres

Ruth Farm (B) (8.64 Acres)

Bananas

563

Coffee trees

581

Mango trees

121

Orange trees

85

Avocado trees

14

Jack fruit trees

10

Timothy Farm (c) (13.8 Acres)

Includes small farm house and shelter where pigs are kept, and incomplete dam for irrigation

mango seedlings

320

Banana Suckers

200

Coffee trees

400

Orange trees

58

Passion fruits

320

Pawpaw trees

3

Jeremiah (D) (1.7 Acres)

Reeds for cattle

 

Mango trees

7

Brian Farm (E) (7.3 Acres)

It also has a dam for irrigation

Banana suckers

329

Coffee trees

20

Cocoa trees

10

Mahogany trees

35

Musizi trees

65

Deborah Farm (F) (13.9 Acres)

School, pineapples, poultry house, church, Nana Health Centre, musizi trees

 

Daniel Farm (G) (2.1 Acres)

Mission House

 

Joseph Farm (H) (1.5 Acres)

Bukobo Church, musizi trees and pastor’s garden

 

Thomas Land (I) (3.2 Acres)

Secondary school

 

Adam (Buluya) Farm (J) (26 Acres)

mango Trees

2,400

Eucalyptus Trees

6,000

John Farm (K) (6 Acres)

Commercial nursery bed to be established

 

Stephane Farm L (0.5 Acres)

Church and trees

 

Dorcas Farm (M) (0.5 Acres)

Church and trees

 

Micheal Farm (N) (2 Acres)

   
  • Musizi seedlings have been plated in Solomon farm but have not been compatible. Experts have advised us to plant Mahogany seedlings instead.
  • The poultry farm is doing well and have managed to collect 620 trays of eggs in March 2016.

Challenges in reporting period

  • Limited skilled labour
  • Low fertility soils
  • Long droughts are making it costly to irrigate
  • Resistant crop pests and diseases

Future plans

  1. Irrigation of at least 10 acres of the farm land
  2. Draw a survey map indicating the location of all the gardens and indicating what is on the farms
  3. Continue to engage the agriculture specialists from Makerere University to ensure the self sufficiency of the farming programme
  4. Encourage more groups to ensure self-sufficiency
  5. Establish fish pond to help with supply of fertilizers.

If God is moving you to support this ministry, there are three things you can do now:

Thank you for all of your prayers and support!

Dr. Ronald Kaluya

One of the irrigated fields. Look how green! In contrast to the next picture.

Non-irrigated corn field during a drought.

The tractor has been an absolute game-changer. It takes 5 days to do what it took 6 months to do by hand!

Poultry farming has been a major boost in income for the community.

Women are empowered to earn an income by acquiring tailoring skills.

A local entrepreneur has acquired a brick-making machine.

 

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