Uganda

Uganda Landcare Visit, 13- 16th August 2018

ALI members were in Uganda to deliver training as part of the ACIAR funded Value Chain Innovation Project VIP4FS. (Value Chain Innovation Platforms for Food Security). This project is working with small farmers in Uganda and Zambia. In eastern Uganda it is working to enhance small farmers incomes from coffee, dairy and honey. This project and those that established Landcare in the region are transforming livelihoods and landscapes through demonstrating and promoting adoption of sustainable techniques for land management.

Australian Landcare International delegates: Belinda Brennan, Jason Alexandra, David Curry

World Agroforestry Centre delegates: Mieke Bourne, May Gathigo, Joan Kimaiyo, Clement Okia

PART 1: Uganda Landcare Master Class Facilitator Training, 13- 15th August 2018, Bubulo Redcross Hall, Manafwa, Uganda

Anticipated outcomes:

  1. To meet the learning needs of Innovation Platforms in order to have a significant impact upon the development of these programs over the short and long term.
  2. Provide a platform to facilitate shared learning’s between participants with existing Landcare experience from Kapchorwa to those in Manafwa, so as to build the capacity of Innovation Platform facilitators.
  3. Build linkages and networks across facilitators and innovation platforms and between Uganda Landcare chapters and Manafwa for ongoing advice and support.

 

PART 2: Visits to KADLACC Kapchorwa: Thursday 16th – Friday 17th August 2018

PART 3: Meeting with Uganda Landcare Network: Saturday 18th August 2018 to take place at the Triangle Buganda Road, Kampala


PART 1: Uganda Landcare Master Class Facilitator Training, 13- 15th August 2018, Bubulo Redcross Hall, Manafwa, Uganda

We were there to deliver training as part of the ACIAR funded Value Chain Innovation Project VIP4FS. (Value Chain Innovation Platforms for Food Security). This project is working with small farmers in Uganda and Zambia. In eastern Uganda it is working to enhance small farmers incomes from coffee, dairy and honey. This project and those that established Landcare in the region are transforming livelihoods and landscapes through demonstrating and promoting adoption of sustainable techniques for land management.

Copy of Links between Landcare and VIP4FS attached.  

The Uganda Landcare Facilitator Training was held between Monday 13th – Friday 17th of August 2018. The training focused on:

  • Enhancing the capacity of about 45 facilitators involved in the Value Chain Innovation Project
  • Facilitating shared learning between the Landcare network and the value chains project to build the capacity of Innovation Platform facilitators
  • Build linkages and regional networks to enhance local learning

Issues affecting the IPs included;

  • Soil erosion
  • Land slips
  • Deforestation
  • Loss of land
  • Pressures on the land
  • Climate change
  • Impact of pesticides and spraying on bees
  • Siltation in low lying areas
  • Poor farming practices
  • Flooding

The training covered included; 

  • Expectations
  • Presentations by local farmers (copy available)
  • Landcare Principles
  • Landcare Experience around the world
  • Facilitation and Coordination
  • Landcare community good practice
  • Working with diversity
  • Developing Trust and building effective teams
  • Working plans for strengthening IPs
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Programs
  • IP strengthening planning

The training also included 2 site visits

  1. Innovation platform for enhanced adoption of agroforestry to control soils erosion. Bugobero Micro catchment
  • Establishment of contour bands – soil and water control
  • Establishment of trees to stabilize contour bands – Grevillea robusta and Callindra calothyrsus
  • Agriculture activities revamped up the hill
  1. Property of Zaina Muyobo – Individual farmer practicing Land management activities with support and training from ILM program supported by UNDP and MAAIF
  • Contour bands
  • Woodlots
  • Biogas
  • Soil fertility enhancement
  • Trees on farm

PART 2: Visits to KADLACC Kapchorwa: Thursday 16th – Friday 17th August 2018

Kapchorwa District has an active Landcare network of 35 groups engaged in many dimensions of sustainable landuse. There is great potential to learn from their experience and use it as a model to expand the reach and impact of Landcare in the wider region.

KADLACC has been running for 15 years promoting soil conservation and sustainable farming. KADLACC had some initial support from AUSaid, ICRAF and others but like many landcare groups it draws resources from multiple sources including the local district administration and its committed volunteers. At this meeting we discussed the history and development of KADLACC and their plans for expanding the reach and impact of the Chapter.

We toured sites at Tergeres and Ormomo where the value chain and landcare projects have been working to transform the lives and livelihoods. We inspected villages where a wide range of technical and social innovations are being applied and where the people are keen to keep experimenting and developing their sustainable farming systems, including agroforestry and fodder shrubs, soil conservation structures, no graze dairy and biogas and stream side stabilisation with indigenous plants including bamboos. The scaling up of these innovations could be transformative across the entire region with its hundred of thousand of small farmers. There is a very positive experience of the Landcare model and combined with the value chain work it is being integrated within the production systems and increasing production and incomes.

In the Kapchorwa district village of Tegeres the community danced and sang to welcome us. They showed us examples of how landcare practices where changing their lives and their country, by walking the large group through their farms to see:

  • Filter strips of bamboo planted for commercial harvest on the steep erodible banks of the headwater streams flowing to the Nile. The bamboo will achieve improved water quality but will reduce pressure on the groves in the park further upstream. (MT Elgon is one of the water towers for the Nile at 4321 metres)
  • Eucalyptus agroforestry and woodlots proving building materials, fire wood and income
  • The use of soils stabilisation techniques including mulching, contour trenches and banks to enhance water infiltration and reduce soil erosion

The Landcare practices are an intrinsic part of and complement the value chain and trees for food security projects currently funded by ACIAR. This project is focused on ways to enhance the income generation of the farms. They are focused on enhancing the value generated by:

  • Dairy farming enterprises using no graze dairy units where milking cows are feed cut and carry feed including using crop waste, grasses and agroforestry legume fodder shrubs and where the waste is used for biogas and fertiliser.
  • The coffee IP that is improving the quality and yields and value adding through dedicated marketing of organic locally branded coffee
  • Honey enterprises that use bee houses to attract hives that harvest the adjoining national park and the farm lands

After touring their farms and gardens to inspect many impressive efforts to build better more productive and sustainable systems the villagers put on excellent street theatre to communicate clearly their stories. The drama focused on the importance of soil conservation, and agroforestry. In the best amateur theatre style they showed us how the training in soil conservation and agroforestry had improved their lives and enabled them to hand the land to future generations in good shape.

At Tegeres, where they adjoin the national park, they have also signed a community conservation agreement with Uganda wildlife service which makes the farmers community adjoining the national park its guardian and custodians. They retain some limited harvesting rights for firewood and non-timber resources like fungi but work to protect it from encroachment and poachers. The community is paid a small fee that is recognised as benefit sharing. This is mostly used for community enhancement activities.

These two examples of local Landcare groups are part of the 35-landcare groups that form the strong Kapchorwa District Landcare Chapter (KADLACC), a regional network that has received support from AUSaid and ACIAR and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) but which also has support from the district administration. The Ugandan Landcare Network that takes on national coordination also supports Landcare in Uganda nationally.

PART 3: Meeting with Uganda Landcare Network: Saturday 18th August 2018 to take place at the Triangle Buganda Road, Kampala

We met with the Uganda Landcare Network (ULN), Joy Tukahirwa, Vice Chair, ULN and other members of ULN.

Joy gave a presentation on what is happening with Landcare in Uganda, the programs they deliver and challenges they face. (copy of presentation is available)

A key initiative of the ULN is organising a Biennial National Landcare Conference in Uganda scheduled for November 2019.

The details of the conference are still draft but include:         

  • Conference Themes
  • Community Landcare Inititaives
  • Nuturing Junior Landcare in Schools
  • Policy frameworks towards scaling landcare innovation
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Partnerships
  • Cross cutting issues

The conference will be held in Kbale in south West Uganda.

Opportunities exist for ALI to be involved in supporting the organisation of the conference and/ or sponsoring a theme. Joy will be circulating the draft flyer for further comment and no doubt the organising committee will be in touch to look at opportunities.

  • Copy of Uganda Landcare Network Strategic Plan and presentation from 18th August are available upon request.

The next steps will be to keep the existing projects running into subsequent phases while developing participatory planning processes that engage local and regional networks in articulating their visions for how to build out from their pockets of success.

Opportunities for further investigations

  • Connection of Junior Landcare Groups – Uganda and West Gippsland – Belinda to follow up with Francis and Joy (Uganda Landcare Network)
  • Developing the case study documentation starting with the part developed Kapchorwa Network – Mieke Bourne
  • Just about everybody has emphasised the need for more rigorous evaluation in order to demonstrate convincingly the nature of the success to date, in order to use this as stepping stone to doing bigger and better things
  • Support for connecting Manafwa and Kapchorwa IP/ Landcare Chapters – for example: funding for bus to visit sites, facilitator visits Belinda and Mieke to follow up
  • Uganda Landcare Network – hosting Landcare Conference November 2019
  • Opportunity to support conference planning, funding for international landcare members to attend, presentations, sponsorship of themes Joy will send the draft conference program to all for comment
  • Ongoing Social Media posts
    • Outcomes of training
    • Connection of Junior Landcare
    • Conference info
    • Outcomes of previous training
  • Actions from Jason
  • The networks of value chain projects and Landcare groups is truly impressive, but these networks and projects are at a critical point where to where they require further funding to ensure they build on the progress made to date. The VIP project concludes after 3 years in 2019 and would benefit from a second phase. Given their achievements they have the potential to be influential at the regional scale in their efforts to link Landcare conservation work with tree cropping for food security and the income generation innovation project. These projects have been building substantial momentum. There are many local value chain projects, including the coffee ones that are direct marketing organic coffee about to export a 14 tonnes consignment to Australia. We floated the idea of a certified organic Landcare coffee being market throughout Australia’s landcare networks.
  • At both Kapchorwa and Manafwa we discussed the prospect of building and expanding the networks to cover the greater Mt Elgon region. The idea of expanding to include both the Kenyan and Uganda sides of the border was floated. The idea of formulating a ‘prospectus’ as an umbrella concept for linking local projects, building on local successes to date, and attracting funds was proposed (maybe something like Gondwanna Links). At various times in our meetings we discussed initial ideas about how to initiate an ambitious multi-country project – tentatively entitled the Greater Rift Valley and Upper Nile Bio-links Projects (GRUNBP). The prospects of developing such a project as an umbrella for attracting funds and linking existing initiatives were welcomed subject to a participatory planning process.
  • David Curry who was one of the Australian trainers has been liaising with local groups involved in remnant forest protection in Kenya and Uganda and he see the merit of linking these with the Landcare, reafforestation and agroforestry efforts around Mt Elgon.
    • If there is an opportunity in the future to further explore the connection of the Mt Elgon region with a suggested umbrella project – “The Great Rift Valley and Nile Catchment Biolinks” Project (equivalent to Gondwana Link in W.A but covering more remnants and much of the upper catchment of the Nile River ) – I’d be keen to discuss with ALI.
    • The Project suggests a potential biolink along the western Rift Valley escarpment in Kenya, linking 5 primary water towers and endangered remnant forests – and along the western branch of the Rift Valley through Uganda, linking 5 major National Parks including Bwindi Impenetrable forest – last Gorilla habitat. Links have Mt Elgon in common and will need to include agricultural land revegetated for all the ecosystem services revegetation provides.
    • Clement Okia, Uganda ICRAF Coordinator, is also keen to explore the suggestion as a means of gaining resources and highlighting progress in the whole area. He Jason and I discussed the proposal at some length. It could be an African Landcare icon – all areas have active landcare happening at the moment.
    • I am committed to work with Maasai and Kalengin communities connected with Nyekweri and Kaptagat Forests in Kenya in a attempt to stop their demise. Both forests are part of the larger Biolink. As you know I have also been involved with Master Tree Grower programs in Kabale and Ntungomo, SW Uganda, again part of the suggested biolink.
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