Thursday 24 January 2013

SPIN Farming in Uganda: Getting Started

In November 2012, EcoFriendly Sask provided Francis Baita, an AgroEcology student in Kasese, Uganda, with a $500 EcoFriendly Action Grant to help him establish a garden and teach students the basic principles of SPIN farming.

Francis has stayed in touch with us by email, and we’ve been delighted to read about the progress he has made in just a couple of months.

His first challenge was to obtain permission from the municipality for a water connection at the project site. It took some time for him to find drip irrigation tape as well; he finally tracked some down in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

Francis then connected the water, installed a 1,000-litre water tank on the site, and purchased the irrigation tape. Once these tasks were completed, he fenced in the property to keep out stray animals. The site was very dirty with lots of plastic waste, so they are collecting it into a heap, and the municipality will come and take it away to be recycled.

An agricultural college asked Francis to train 13 students (3 girls and 10 boys) on the basics of urban farming. The students received two days training in SPIN Farming and planted some of the vegetables. Francis then covered the seedlings (as you can see in the picture) as it has been very hot.

We have put Francis in touch with the SPIN Farming network that was co-founded by Wally Satzewich from Saskatoon, and Francis has been invited to join their online SPIN Farming discussion group. We’ll send Francis a copy of SPIN Farming Illustrated, the network’s most recent publication, once it’s available in PDF.

We look forward to further reports from Francis.

Do you have a dream environmental project? Why not apply for an EcoFriendly Action Grant?