Income generating activities
Eden Ministries’ economic initiative is aimed at Income Generating Activities with the goal of promoting Economic empowerment of the rural poor in the development process. The main areas for intervention in this respect include the initiation of the following:
Sustainable agriculture paving way for commercial crop production from subsistence to Sustainable Commercial farming
- Animal Husbandry
- Addition of value to Agro-produce
Sustainable Organic Agriculture
Sustainable Organic Agriculture (SOA) is described as an approach to agricultural production, which minimizes or excludes the use of agro-chemicals in favor of using natural alternative products within an individual’s farm, or in a farming community.
The major advantage of using organic products in farming include minimization of adverse aspects associated with inorganic chemicals e.g. retention of residues in food, avoidance of resistance of various pests to chemicals as well as non encountering of exorbitant costs of inorganic chemicals.
Eden Ministries is therefore achieving this through training and encouraging peasant farmers/ communities to adopt sustainable organic farming.
Considering the nature of farming in Uganda and its agro-ecological conditions, Eden Ministries believes that the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers majority can best be improved through the adoption and implementation of sustainable agriculture (SA) practices.
Currently the majorities of farmers are not practicing Sustainable Agriculture and hence often face food insecurity and poverty leading to environmental degradation while in search for food. This is largely due to the following factors:
- Lack of skills and knowledge E.g. what, when and how to grow.
- Lack of information sharing and use.
- Lack of research back up
- Gender inequity
- Little advocacy in Sustainable Agriculture
- Few marketing opportunities (information, skills and outlets)
- Lack of access to credit facilities
- Lack of input supply and poor availability resources
The organization uses the following strategies to address these constraints to solve the earlier problem statement with rural communities as the target:
- Capacity building for Sustainable Agriculture
- Advocacy program
- Lobbing (raising) funds
Capacity building for Sustainable Agriculture
The capacity need for peasant farmers and the organization are in particular:
- Production techniques
- Marketing (farm planning and agribusiness)
- Organization development
- Advocacy skills
Capacity building for production techniques
The main aim of the organization is to increase income of the rural peasants and other vulnerable groups from subsistence farming to commercial farming. We target peasant farmers, vulnerable community members and Trainers of Trainers (TOT’s) and will consist of participatory, demand driven and objective oriented training with the support to participatory gender sensitive monitoring and evaluation.
The content is based on environmental sustainability, soil management, water
conservation, making and application of organic manure, crop production technology , food security, seed multiplication & distribution, agro-processing and
preservation, post harvest handling, as well as livestock Management market
orientation and optimal available resource use
Within marketing, capacity building is based on a practical and gender sensitive approach. The major contents are developing a farmer based market based information system for domestic and export market, facilitate the introduction of alternative income generating activities, facilitate the formation of small holder business associations to trade linkages and research on appropriate and economically viable facilities of added value.
The main focus within the Organizational development support is on strategic planning and exploring innovative ways of the organization to collaborate and enhance impact. It consists of facilitation or training.
The advocacy program contributes to the community empowerment to actively participate in planning and budgeting processes at local government level.
This results in sub counties allocating adequate resources for sustainable agriculture activities.
The main activities within this program are stakeholders’ consultative meeting, awareness workshops at community level, training local government and local leaders in participatory gender sensitive planning and budgeting, gathering and information dissemination through research reports, policy and policy dialogue meetings.
Lobbying (Raising) Funds
The purpose of raising funds in the Eden Ministries is mainly for implementation of the planned activities to benefit the beneficiaries, to facilitate initial capacity building activities with in the targeted communities and the organization.
For long term funding, the organization will establish direct contact with the funding sources who are willing to support the organization financially and also in any other area that deem fit for Eden Ministries’ members.
The organizations long-term plan is to initiate commercial farming activities. This is basically for sustainability as well as expanding its programs, of which its lessons will be carried throughout rural areas for campaign against poverty. This ensures increased income at grass root levels to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor particularly focused on women, orphan /child headed families.
This includes four major activities that involve the following components:
Commercial Crop production:
The following crops have been selected to be grown organically: Maize, Sunflower, Simsim, and Soya beans, Pineapple, Passion fruits, Mangoes, Oranges and Vegetables.
The selected crops are processed into maize flour, vegetable oil production / oil extraction, and maize brand for birds and animal feeds. Selected fruits shall be processed using solar dryers. Juices jam and wine to be preserved, packed ready for consumption.
All the seeds are tested at the Uganda Seed Scheme Laboratory for germination prior to planting.
Irrigation systems will be adopted for unpredictable weather to help in crop production during drought in one demonstration garden.
This will greatly support the practicing of sustainable agriculture mainly in the area of manure making which include the following: – cows, goats, birds, pigs and bee keeping
It is the plan to support the members by giving every five families one cow, one goat, one pig and some few poultry. The methods will be that one family has a cow, the other gets a goat etc and after the giving birth of any of these, the offspring will be given to one member in the five family team at random until the entire five members have acquired all the different category of animals. This will help the community in organic farming practicing thus alleviating poverty.