Thursday, 8 November 2012

Financial Support for SPIN Farming in Uganda

Earlier this month, EcoFriendly Sask received an email from Francis Baita, a student in a Master of Science Agro Ecology program. He had read about SPIN farming and wanted to start a project in his community. Francis owned a plot of land and planned to teach 10 primary school children the principles of SPIN farming. He was asking for an EcoFriendly Action Grant in order to buy drip irrigation kits.

 It sounded like a great project, but there was one drawback. Francis lives in Kasese, Uganda, Africa, and we had established EcoFriendly Action Grants in order to support local Saskatchewan projects.

However, every rule is meant to be broken. Andrew and I were both born in East Africa, and our parents had lived in Uganda for several years. We decided to give Francis $500.

We asked Francis for some additional information, which he immediately provided. He sent us a letter of reference from a local NGO and explained that he planned to purchase drip tapes and buckets for his irrigation system. He would select 10 orphans (ages 12 to 18) from two nearby primary schools and would ask the school administration to help him select the most disadvantaged students. The orphans would work in the garden after school and on weekends, and the produce – cabbages, carrots, kale, tomatoes, eggplants, watermelons, onions, green pepper, squash, and garlic – would supplement the students’ diet.

We wish Francis success in his SPIN farming project and look forward to receiving progress reports. Wally Satzewich, one of the co-founders of SPIN farming, lives and works in Saskatoon. It seems very appropriate that EcoFriendly Sask is helping to spread his ideas right around the globe.