3rd April 2017 by Sophie
We are passionate about farming and where food comes from, so when we had a chance to start our own School of Farming we jumped at it.
The graze school of farming is based in Kabubbu, a village in heart of rural Uganda, where it helps locals grow themselves out of poverty by teaching farming skills and supporting them through their first few growing seasons.
Graduates of the school are able to turn a modest plot into a sustainable resource that can feed a family of four and earn extra cash on top to pay for school fees, health care and family essentials. The difference this makes to people’s lives is huge.
The School of Farming is run by the inspirational Mr Augustine, a passionate believer in the power of education, who has dedicated himself to teaching farming skills and turning around the fortunes of those in his community. Working together, we created the following principles:
Using the modern farming methods Mr Augustine developed himself, his students have achieved ten times more crops than with traditional farming methods - and each season the yield increases even more!
In this image you can see Mr Augustine showing off the crop grown by his modern techniques on the left, compared to the stunted growth of old techniques on the right.read more about Mr Augustine
Mr Augustine runs a new course each growing season (there are 3 a year in Uganda) and he is in the process of training other teachers and working with the local schools to increase the reach of the School of Farming even further.meet the class of 2015
Mr Augustine and his team of trainers assist all of our graduates through their first few seasons to ensure all the lessons are put into practise and the full benefit of the course is reaped.meet trainer Gloria
Mr Augustine and his trainers give ongoing advice on the best storage methods for the crops and when they should take produce to market, to make sure students and graduates get the best out of their harvests.
We’re also working on setting up a farmers cooperative to help the individual farmers get more bargaining power and even better prices.meet farmer Margaret
It might sound a bit simple, but one of the challenges we’ve faced is that people in Kabubbu just don’t want to farm! Farming is seen as a low status activity for women, and the perceived norm is that you just end up with poor or failed crops. In fact, "go and grow some cabbages" was a well-known local insult - until recently!
We’ve already seen a change in attitudes, purely from the success of our students. Classes are now 50:50 male to female and have a long waiting list of farmers who want to join.meet farmer Abraham
We have 400 graduates! That's 400 families who can now feed and support themselves.
On top of that Mr. Augustine has: trained 34 trainers to support all the students as they start their own gardens, experimented with 27 varieties of maize, planted a total of 1,200 orange trees, held 4 harvest festivals, started a farmers co-operative, installed giant water tanks to help the villagers to water their crops regardless of rainfall, started regular agriculture lessons in the local schools and cleared the land for the new Centre of Farming Excellence.
We partner with Sussex-based charity Quicken Trust who run many other schemes in Kabubbu, including child sponsorship and food aid.
This is the finest example of rural development I have ever seen or heard of in Uganda.
Uganda Vice-President, Edward Ssekandi (2010)donate directly
By Sophie, graze blogger.
Sophie is our London-based blogger, queen of content and all things writing at graze HQ! She loves working with the taste expert team to bring their recipes out into the world.
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