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Trees for life

We seek to work with marginalised rural farmers to adopt an innovative and sustainable agroforestry model that triples household incomes

Photo of Daniel Ojulu

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The trees for life project seeks to work with marginalised rural farmers to implement a one acre agroforestry model where we provide inputs and capacity building to the local farmer associations comprising of ten farmers each, and the farmers contribute their land and labour. After harvest, we buy the farmers produce at prevailing market prices and have a 50-50 profit sharing arrangement. The essence is to provide an additional income generation source without necessarily reducing the land available for food crops. The main challenge within Pallisa District, in the Eastern Region of Uganda is the continued degradation of wetland resources and natural vegetation. Due to the poor farming methids, the soils have been depleted, resulting in low productivity and crop yields. The result has been a reduction in farm incomes thus an increase in household poverty among the rural farmers who derive their sustainance and livelihoods through agriculture. 96℅ of the local population are engaged in agriculture for employment and survival. Therefore, through the trees for life project, we seek to pilot it with a group of 20 - 30 farmers, where we shall provide quality inputs (oil seeds and cereals) alongside tree saplings, provide fertilisers, capacity building and onfield technical backstopping, and connect farmers to premium markets for their produce. It's believed that one of the challenges rural farmers face is access to quality inputs and fertiliser, limited finance, profit appropriation by the middleman, and limited knowledge on available markets.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are marginalised rural farmers who have already one acre of land in Pallisa District, Eastern Uganda. However, we shall start with the the local community in Olok subcounty - one of the poorest subcounties in Uganda. The community will benefit through access to quality inputs, onfield technical advice, linkage to premium pre-nogotiated markets that guarantee a predetermined minimum price for their outputs, the rural unemployed youth are offered employment opportunities are community resource persons, and women will not be required to move longer distances in search of firewood anymore. Every 4-5years, through the sale of pulpwood, households will have the opportunity to double their incomes and move above the poverty line. They are also gurranteed a reliable source of income at the end of each season - twice a year through the sale of oil seeds and cereals

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

We position ourselves as a link between rural communities and companies/manufacturers where we group marginalised farmers together to grow trees in paired rows next to their traditional crops without necessarily reducing the land available for food production. The essence is to have farmers provide raw materials to industries while still growing their own traditional crops. This is the product innovation Secondly, through signing memoranda with local farmer associations, we supply inputs to farmers while farmers pool their land and provide their labour. We seek to eliminate the middle man and thereafter, share the profits on a 50-50 arrangement. By replicating SAIs proven agroforestry model and adapting it to the local context and conditions, we shall largely rely on SAIs technical expertise and knowledge sharing arrangement to fast track the successful implementation of this innovative idea

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

DSM Holdings seeks to work with marginalised rural farmers to adopt innovative and mordern market oriented agroforestry and agronomic practices that increase household incomes while conserving mother nature through carbon sequestration DSM Holdings was founded in February 2017 and will be formally established and registered as of July 2018.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we are a formal initiative through an accelerator, hub, or other entity.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

With increased degradation of the wetland ecosystem and the subsequent expulsion of people from cultivation of rice in the wetlands, this resulted in a reduction in household income since rice cultivation is the main cashcrop grown within Pallisa District. I attended a SAG-SEED Replicator connect workshop in February 2017 in Kampala, Uganda and picked up interest in the collaborative Business models for smallholder farming where I was matched with an Originator to further develop the idea

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Plannet has been impacted by increasing degradation of the wetland ecosystem through the continued cultivation of rice within the Wetlands. Population explosion has also necessitated an increase in land required for cultivation and thus lead to the destruction of wetlands and other sensitive ecosystems. The cutting and burning of trees for charcoal and firewood has resulted in climate change. These have had a negative impact on agricultural productivity and household incomes. Prosperity has been impacted by land fragmentation and degradation, use of poor farming methods and low yielding crop varieties. These have resulted in low agricultural outputs yet 96℅ of the community is engaged in agriculture

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Our main partners are the local farmer associations (LFAs). Each LFA comprises of ten (10) marginalised rural farmers with at least one acre of land who pool their land and labour. We shall split the resulting profits on a 50-50 arrangement We have also partnered with SAI: Sustainable Agro Ltd, who have allowed us to replicate their proven innovative agroforestry model. SAI will provide mentorship, capacity building and legal advice throughout the replication process, and guide the development of the prototype and financing arrangements with the farmers. We will also enter into partnerships with input suppliers to provide quality inputs, industries to add value to farmers produce, research institutions to engage in research activities and refine the agroforestry model, and the local government agencies and international development partners and agencies

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The average household size is 9. This implies a readily available labour to till the farms. Most of the households have more than one acre of land and will be able to allocate at least one acre which is the basic minimum for our agroforestry model. The women have an equal share to family land and are the ones engaged in agriculture the most. The area also enjoys a reliable amount of rainfall and is largely bordered by wetlands and a large number of small water bodies.

Geographic Focus

The idea targets rural farmers in Pallisa District, Eastern Region, Uganda. Africa

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The idea refinement process and development of the prototype will take 6 months. The pilot phase is 24 months. In total, the project idea requires 30-months to implement

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of NDEF Cameroon

Hello Daniel Ojulu, hope you are faring on well with your project!

Talking about fruit trees, we suggest you think of vegetative propagation techniques such as grafting, marcotting and rooting of cuttings. Such plants would bear fruits in some cases in just two to three years rather than for periods up to five or ten years. In this way, young persons would be excited to plant trees which give results faster. With many trees planted, we could take advantage to place some beehives around the farms. Honey bees would increase pollination, thus increased food yields and honey production. Some livestock too could be added both for their intrinsic value and manure production. Such a mini agroforestry system created per farmer would be sustainable as symbiotic relations are created thus creating multiple streams of benefits in the long run. Kind regards. Pius. Director of NDEF

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