Mr. Onesimus Asiimwe, 45 years old, is one peculiar char- acter who wished to become a farmer right from childhood. This was not perceived well by most people as later he was persuaded to study a diploma in Education by his father, which he did in 2004. He however practiced education for a few years before he pursued his life- long dream; ‘farming’ in 2006.
In Kakoni village, Rukungiri district is where Asiimwe resides. He makes you feel at home at his family farm sitting on 74 acres of land. Asiimwe had always grown crops like maize and soya beans with the help of synthetic fertilizers due to ignorance about their repercussions on the crops, environment but also health.
He recalls a time he had poor yields, his plants used to dry up during drought, persistent soil infertility and unreliability of the Agro-chemicals that he was dependent on to help him.
On one lucky day, a friend of his Mr. Mugisha Richard invited him as a Multiplier to attend a training organized by PELUM Uganda under the KCOA project in 2018. With a promise that this would improve his farm- ing, Asiimwe was convinced to attend the training held at St. Jude Fam- ily projects, Masaka district.
Left in enchantment from what he had seen in Masaka, Asiimwe couldn’t wait to go back home in Kakoni to implement and educate his people about his new discovery. He had seen the difference in the vegetable gardens in Masaka and those back home. He immediately deemed it necessary to introduce this in Rukungiri.
When he returned home, he formed Kakoni Organic Farmers Initiative in 2021 where he trains various farmers about organic farming using the knowledge he gained during the KHEA training on organic farming. Asiimwe has been able to train 17 farmers in Kabale since 2021, 20 farmers in Ntungamo in Janu- ary 2022, and 17 from his own district Rukun- giri in March 2022.
Asiimwe has trained farmers in making organic fertilizers such as plant tea, manure tea, and ash that fertilizes the soil vigorously. He has put emphasis in the growth of vegetables like sukuma, bitter berries, nakati, dodo, beetroot, and cabbages which he claims are vital in nutrients for good health as many of his farmers.
Asiimwe has set up a demonstration garden where he teaches his farmers practically. He rears goats and grows a variety of vegetables that supplement his farm produce. He also says crops grown organically are more resist- ant to harsh climate, like drought compared to inorganic since organic fertilizers last longer in the soil compared to inorganic fertilizers. Agroecology has also boosted his social net- work in his community as he has been able to interact with farmers from all over the country and conserve the environment.
Asiimwe believes Agroecology is needed in Uganda to revive the plants and soil back to their natural texture but also believes more training in needed as they still face a challenge of insects and pesticides eating their crops.
For more information visit; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9kBXeafjoo&t=5s
Success story collection – done by Ezra Kalule – KHEA Project Officer – PELUM Uganda,
Edited, reviewed&uploaded by Magino Pamella-KHEA Communications Officer-PELUM Uganda and Biovision Africa Trust Kenya