The newest addition to the NUDF team! Six oxen were bought this summer to help villages farm more effectively.
Last summer the focus of our trip to Uganda was “Are We Making A Difference?” To answer this question we traveled to all our existing wells and met with many groups in villages to see how our current projects were working. We also took this opportunity to talk first hand with the villagers to assess their needs. The requests were many and included more wells, goats, medicine and sport equipment for youth. By far the biggest single request was for oxen and ploughs.
Uganda has very good soil and sufficient rain for two full growing seasons. Farming is a good way for villagers to feed themselves and to get out of poverty. The biggest problem is that this requires hard manual labour. At the break of dawn men and women will go to the fields and spend all day preparing the fields. This work is done but the hard labour limits the size of the field and the crop. Hence the request for oxen and ploughs.
We had money donated that we could use for oxen and ploughs so we decided to buy what we could. We visited a market in the north that sold oxen. We managed to purchase 8 oxen at the market. We found a place in Lira that we bought the ploughs from and had them shipped to Kamdini.
We decided to keep the oxen and plough at our base in Kamdini. They can be rented out by farmers and villages for a small fee to help the village plough its fields faster. We decided to keep the oxen for a few reasons. We could affect a greater number of villages; and the villagers have to take some reasonability for their progress by paying the small fee. Using the oxen is much easier on the villagers and will allow them to farm larger plots of land and increase their food production.
This activity ties in nicely to our demonstration farm. We hope to use our demonstration farm to educate farmers and villages on different types of food these farmers can grow that will be healthier and more profitable.
The oxen are now in training. We hired experienced oxen to accompany the new oxen so they could learn what to do. This should take a few months.
We’ll keep updating information on the oxen and ploughs as the year progresses.