to start my RealPlayer slideshow now
Words in RED
are what I say. Words in BLUE are what Joseph
says. Helpful popup links are PURPLE.
Hi! I'm Tiki the Penguin and I've been visiting a
wonderful organic farm in Uganda, in Africa. Take a trip with me now as
I walk round with farmer Joseph Mugagga and find out what's going on in
his part of this beautiful country.
Slideshow and possible problems
you can see young people who have come to Joseph' s organic farm in the
Tororo district of Uganda to find out what he's doing ...
farming. And as they learn, you can see them taking notes. As they
go back, they will be able to train other people especially their
parents - who may not have a chance to come and learn from my farm.
I am, looking at some bananas and beans. Joseph grows beans because you
can eat them and they help make the soil more fertile.
The bananas are like trees and they are perennial. That means they keep
growing year after year. Each time the banana tree
bears fruit, Joseph cuts it down to encourage a new shoot which then quickly
grows up from the roots into another plant which makes more bananas.
expect you've heard about compost, you know, the soily stuff you put on
the garden to make plants grow well. In organic farming, you need lots
of it and this is how Joseph makes it. Here the people are carrying dead
maize plants and dumping them in a goat pen, called a kraal. These make
bedding for the animals. What happens then, Joseph? The
animals tread on them and their urine and the dung is mixed up in the
bedding you have put, and after some time say about 3 weeks
you come and clean up the kraal and make your good compost!
the children help here. Can you see the boy putting some beans in a storage
place called a crib? That
small crib there can keep the beans for about 2 days before they come
and peel them off the pods. Then
the people eat the beans and the pods feed the goats. So you see, nothing
shows a woman in the kitchen who have learned how to make fuel-saving
stove. And the chimney you can see on the right takes off the smoke
and there is no smoke in the kitchen.
shows how you can have your animals helping you on the farm. Those are
which we use for ploughing, weeding and collecting poles like that.
uses poles like these ones to build animal sheds and huts for people to
It's nice and shady in this banana plantation. But
what are those children doing Joseph? They
are turning the compost and by doing that you increase the soil fertility
in that area.
people are looking for banana weevils.
These insects damage the banana plants. So how do you catch them?
cut the stem and then split it into two pieces; then cover the stump.
Then in the morning you can come and open it because they come up at night.
So when you open it, you can find around 20 or 30. So what you do? You
can just crush them or put them in a bottle and they die.
Here I am at a meeting of village people who have come to listen to Joseph
talking about sustainable organic farming. They had never seen a real
live penguin before... but then perhaps you haven't either!
got very hot at that meeting and so I'm having a shower here. Normally
the people use these special pits for making liquid
get a plant like stinging nettles or any green vegetation, you chop it
and then fill three-quarters of the container
I jumped out before they did this.
you fill with water and after seven days you can strain off and then apply
on your plants.
it rains in Uganda, it rains very heavily. The rain can wash
away the silty soil which is why people dig pits like the one I'm
standing in. Instead
of just washing away the topsoil, when the silt fills in that pit, you
can shovel it up in your area where you plant your crops. When it rains,
that pit is filled
water goes down slowly so that the plants can
So again you see... nothing is wasted. Not soil; not water.
I'm watching some local farmers helping to make a trench to catch the
farmers come together to help one who really needs help, and after constructing
such a trench on one farmer's field, then they go to another farmer who
is badly off. And they can really work on that together
two days or three days. It depends what they need. People
help each other a lot here. They have to because most people are very
poor and have hardly any money.
you cross a local chick with an exotic
cock, the chicks grow very fast and are much bigger. It even increases
their laying capacity.
is me with some goats in a goat shed or kraal. Behind
that shed is a small exercise yard and they cut the napier grass, mix
with legumes (like caliandra, rosina, mokuna). Then they bring to the
These goats have just been fed. Can you see their feeding boxes?
shows farmers learning how to train their animals. There is a farmer who
has two animals those ones you see but he didn't know how
to train them. These
oxen, which have very big horns, soon learned how to pull a plough. And
the other farmers also learned how to do the training for their own animals.
Most farmers can't afford to buy tractors in Uganda.
that shows the farmers market. There you can see all different kinds of
produce. You can see Irish potatoes, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, onions,
so in that table there you can see a diverse crop the farmer, if he uses
sustainable agriculture, can produce: all those different kinds of plants.
Imagine you produce that on the farm. Are you not healthy? That's the
question one asks. And if we can really fight to produce such a variety
of food within the family, I think everybody will be healthy and there
will be enough food for the whole of us!
I reckon Joseph, his friends, his family, the people he works with, could
teach farmers in Europe or America a thing or two. His type of farming
-- sustainable and organic -- produces lots of food and lots of varieties
of food. And it doesn't need huge tractors, diesel fuel, artificial fertilisers
and chemical poisons. As I said earlier, nothing is wasted. That's why
this type of farming works. And the great thing about it is that anyone
with a little bit of land can do something similar. You could...
Well, goodbye. I hope you enjoyed your trip round this wonderful farm.
And I hope it gives you food for thought!
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