Our sorghum project began in the second planting of 2019 (July – December).
That year, because we were only orientating farmers on sorghum for the first time, we trained more than 400 farmers in the space of 1 – 2 months. But only 48 farmers planted. In preparation for our second planting cycle, the UCF trained more than 500 farmers between January – February 2020. This time, many farmers was very eager to plant, then Uganda’s first lockdown came in March the same year. Only a few farmers had received seed from us at that point. Motorbike usage was largely prohibited, and people movement was restricted. Our work was disrupted for the rest of 2020.
Thereafter, the UCF entered 2021 with no funding to support our farmers. But when Anthony’s article came out in The Guardian, several people supported us. However, Uganda had one of the worst Omicron outbreaks in 2021, with multiple months-long lockdowns for much of the year. We didn’t plant sorghum anywhere in 2021.
Right now, our work is back, and farmers are very interested in sorghum than ever. Those farmers who took part in our first planting season of 2022, all planted in April. Currently, we have very little support, and because more farmers have now shown interest in sorghum, partly due to the economic hardship arising from the pandemic, the more support that we can raise now, the more we will able to expand this work.
Every $16 that we can raise provides one farmer with 5kg of sorghum seed for one acre; $32 provides 10kgs for two acres; $42 provides one farmer with a tarpaulin for clean post-harvest handling; $870 covers a month’s salary for one person on our community outreach team, and $580 covers our monthly fuel for daily field visits.
Here are some of the farmers who have taken part in the first season of 2022: