to work with smallholder farmers in Jinja, including our family's farm, to develop AgroForestry, provide air bnb and childrens play activity
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
Jinja is where our relatives live, our son is married to Angella Babirye from Jinja. Angella is part of a large family who are very connected to many small holder farmers. Near Jinja is where Judith Bakirya lives, she runs Busaino Fruit and Herb co with the help of 1,250 small farmers, mainly women, on 1,000 acres of land. We can demonstrate and share their experience in adding trees and livestock to the smallholder farms nearby Jinja and thus encourage more small farmers to help develop Jinja as an eco-tourist destination to learn about replenishing soils and lifting people from poverty through agroforestry. Tourists as well as local people can benefit, including a school/ play place for children to enjoy play with planting, exploring, harvesting, eating healthy. We have connections in Europe and North America to advertise for eco-tourists to come to our small farmer colleagues as well. Our daughter and son in law are super hosts for air bnb in Canada and can provide their expertise in developing Eco-Tourism AgroForestry in Jinja.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
this is the 2.2 acres located 4 km from Jinja town, along the Nile River at its source. Jinja is already a tourist destination being 1200 m up with whitewater rafting, falls etc. The vision is to create EcoAgroForestry on small farm along with air bnb accommodation and school for local children as well as tourist children to learn through play with Nature, including planting trees, caring for livestock, exploring, harvesting, preparing and eating healthy. Neighbouring farmers are invited too
This video shows some of the family members we will work with who live in Jinja area. Busaino Fruit and Herb Company - www.busainofruits.com - is an example of what can be done, the need now is to increase the number of smallholder farmers from 126 to have agroforestry become the usual practice for thousands of small farmers in Jinja area.
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Jinja town population is about 93,000 but surrounding Jinja area is over 350,000 people. Most of the people are small farmers. The soil is often over-worked resulting in erosion and gullies. The popular food is plantain (matoke); chapatis and eggs called "Rolex" are also popular as are meat or fish soups which for many people are a treat. Tourism is important economically in Jinja which is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world, where the Nile River joins. Tourists enjoy views of the Falls, white water rafting, bungee jumping, boat trips around the area where Nile River and Lake Victoria join. Nile River flows through 9 countries - Uganda, Egypt, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Zaire. Steel works, sugar growing and factory, and hydro-electricity are also job and income earners though much revenue goes to capital owners and little to the local people. Steel and sugar are also very hard on the environment; sugar has and is expanded at the expense of beautiful rainforest. Jinja and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are an hour's flight apart so tourists can take a tour including both locations,(Bwindi Forest houses rare gorilla populations). Owen Falls, submerged to create hydro-electricity, provides jobs. Plans for a car manufacturing plant have been underway for several years. Although a new Jinja Central Market able to accommodate 7,000 vendors was built recently, many defects have caused flooding. The dominant culture is Bantu, Lusoga is the main language. Average annual income is $100/ year. Over 20,000 people who have arrived from rural areas to the city live in slum areas around Jinja without adequate clean water, sanitation, housing etc. Population growth rate is 2.7% per year. There is only one urban planner in Jinja, already overworked.
Were present systems to continue to 2050, with increasing population growth in the town and inadequate infrastructure, life in rural areas would become more appealing if agroforestry and eco-tourism were enabling more earnings and healthy life from farms. If present systems continue, there will be more destruction of rainforest to grow sugar, more disappearance of beautiful Falls to make hydroelectricity, more pollution in Lake Victoria which currently supplies fish and other benefits to local people, more slum areas as people leave the rural areas for better hopes in the city, more finances being drained to non-Jinja area capital owners, less say in one's own community development destiny.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
The vision for 2050 is of small farmers lifting themselves from poverty by increasing their production of various products through AgroForestry including livestock and eco-tourism. Just as Sikkim has increased its tourism by 70% by becoming a fully organic state in India, so too could Jinja area become known for learning about ecology as well as improving incomes of local farmers. For example, Busaino Fruit and Herb company started 19 years ago to revitalize degraded small holder land by planting trees and raising livestock in agroforestry systems (similar to traditional agroforestry methods in olden times). It is now the largest supplier of avocados in Uganda and is becoming a tourist destination too, including providing herbal medicinal teas and other traditions. There are 1,250 farmers involved in Busaino Fruits with Judith Bakirya as the founder. Located in Wanyange and Wakawaka, the farmers are a little bit distant from the main tourist destinations in Jinja town so having some demonstration farms closer to town as well as Tiny Seeds Nature School and air bnb tourist facilities could encourage more farmers between Jinja and Wakawaka to replenish their soils and diversify their products.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
Instead of thousands of people living in slums and increasingly moving from the farming areas, there could be much more productivity from existing small farms, more tourist interest, more learning to care for the environment, restoration of soils and trees, sales of diverse products (primary, secondary and tertiary processed locally) and ownership being retained in the hands of small farmers so that they benefit from their work and develop their capacities. For example, they will know how to grow fruit, nut and medicinal trees and herbs, to process and market products, to encourage learning and eco-tourism. Having agriculture as the foundation of community building and agriculture remaining in the hands of local people with its revenues coming to them, there will be more capital available to invest in infrastructures such as local pharmacies, clinics, schools, roads etc. People will have more capacities to work together to help each other to renew resources. People will have more control over their own lives and be less dependent on outside funds that are often misappropriated. Because there are thousands of small farmers, who will be working together for eco-tourism and agroforestry, they will be a strong group with independent means to have their voices heard in policy making and project actions. Children will have more hope for their futures and more skills to enjoy farm enterprise.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
this video is featuring Judith Bakirya of Busaino Fruit and Herb company who involves 1,250 small farmers, especially women, in growing agroforestry in Jinja area. She won a scholarship to study in UK, trained then worked in UK to earn the funds to return to Jinja area 19 years ago and set up Busaino as a model to expand
Climate change can be mitigated by storing carbon in the soil provided the soils are replenished; agroforestry is a way to improve soils as well as diversify products. Growing trees also keeps the soil from running off into rivers and lakes that affect hydroelectric facilities. Trees can also be stronger than steel, depending on the process, and are environmentally restoring of clean air, clean water, clean soil, rather than destructive as steel is. Local Africans are already making bicycles with bamboo instead of steel frames. The diets of local Ugandans are healthy when they can afford the healthy fruits and herbs they traditionally ate or when they can grow it. They can also grow fast growing firewood to cook and use energy efficient woodstoves. There is oil and gas exploration in Jinja area but growing one's own energy means keeping the economy in local control. Busaino Fruits has 1,000 acres with 1,250 farmers growing beans and other crops on plots in the land and learning about the methods. Most of the small farmers are women so the improvement of income for women can assist the children to have better education and nutrition and for women to have more say over their destiny and that of their families with incomes of their own. Culturally, people traditionally grew with agroforestry methods and people ate the healthy foods grown in agroforests. Culturally there is already interest and earnings from tourism, enhancing it with eco-tourism will fit with cultural ways. Technologies to grow nurseries, to improve seeds with hybrid making, clones and seed banks and seed orchards can enhance productivity. Policies to retain beauty in the area and improve the environment can align with local people improving their livelihoods too, rather than see environmental work as an expenditure to economy.