About this campaign
We are Ignatius Ahumuza and Cleofash Alinaitwe, the brothers that have spent the whole of their lives engaged in farming. We’ve grown as sons of peasant farmers, seen all unsustainable farming practices, witnessed climate change wrecking our family’s gardens but later still became youth farmers ourselves. For 5 years now, we have turned into leaders of farmers to redesign farming practices and together we are the co-founders of Agri Planet Uganda.
Growing up in a peasant farming family allowed us to grow at the center of indigenous farming knowledge and practices. We farmed as a family and often witnessed our parents getting huge yields from our farming activities. As ages passed, we started seeing new pests and diseases manifesting in our fields, storms and destructive heavy rains washing away our gardens, and plants drying up especially during the prolonged droughts.
During those times of calamity, farmers including our parents sought for all possible solutions to save their livelihoods and this offered an opportunity for corporations to misdirect our farming practices and cultures. Following strategic and persuasive advertisement, huge corporations that manufacture chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and GMO seeds used the local media to present their products as solutions to the misery of the much-affected farmers at that time.
Our farming practices gradually changed from using no chemicals to using huge quantities of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and inorganic fertilizers, from mixed farming of various polycultures to intensive mono-cropping practices, from using local seed varieties to using genetically modified single-use seed, from using small farming plots to clearing of the large forest-covered areas for cultivation.
Attending local schools enabled us to learn that these farming practices were harmful to the environment and were as well responsible for the misbehaving weather conditions.
We vowed to do something about the practices of the smallholder farmers and the narrative about farming in the generation of future farmers. We co-founded Agri Planet Uganda to make farming as natural, healthy, sustainable, regenerative, and productive as it was generations ago. We want to see that farmers produce food with zero chemical usage and as well reduce the consumption of unhealthy factory manufactured food, thus creating a local movement of organic agriculture practitioners, consumers, and supporters.
We started as a small group training smallholder farmers, school children, and students with sustainable farming practices, and educating them about the dangers of the modern farming trends. We were restoring the right narrative for our farming just as we had vowed to do.
This further took shape after attending the First East African Permaculture Convergence.
We are establishing a Farmers’ Resource Center for Permaculture. This center serves as a practical Agricultural knowledge bank where permaculture innovations in sustainable farming are developed or replicated, tested, and demonstrated to the local farming community. The center acts as a farmer to farmer indigenous knowledge exchange platform, serves as a farmer field school for permaculture practices, links farmers to productive markets, and offers quality natural agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers.
Our main programs based at the Resource Center include The Annual Agri Planet Farm day training, Youth camps, Agritourism activities, and The Agri Leadership and entrepreneurship Academy to offer structured training. Our permaculture for kids program organizes learners into school permaculture clubs.
We have been happily implementing our mission, the farmers have been adapting to the sustainable farming practices and the young generation has been excited about the new narrative of farming as it was with our ancestors until March 2020 when the COVID 19 pandemic reached the lands of Uganda, rendering all activities impossible.
Use of Funds
Support Ahumuza Ignatius and Alinaitwe Cleofash of Agri Planet Uganda to stand firm, and enable them to lead the farmers out of this economic crisis just as they have done before the pandemic.
We have developed a model permaculture farm design (thanks to the support from Oregon State University’s permaculture design course facilitators) that can be adapted by every smallholder farmer. The design will enable farmers to maximize their output in small pieces of land sustainably without exceeding the limits of nature. This will enable farmers to regenerate their soils and create sustainable plant systems on their farms.
We are seeking support to implement this permaculture farm design on our Farmers’ Resource center for permaculture, establish training places that adhere to the COVID 19 restrictions, mobilize and organize farmers, consumers, and other stakeholders into the Permaculture Movement of Uganda