The 35-year-old mother of three has a broad smile as she leans on her cow shed. She was given a grade cow three years ago that has transformed her farming.
Peruth Musubika, 35, milks eight litres from her Frisian cow at Katikara Village, Hoima District, in Uganda. The cow has calved thrice. “The first calf was given to a group member, while the second one died. We have a third calf that is one week old,” says Musubika. She is a member of God’s Grace group, which has 20 members, engaged in farming of diverse crops.
The farmer says she sales three litres daily for USh5000. She plants crops such as maize, simsim, beans, groundnuts and rice. Her proceeds from maize doubled after training on proper farming methods. Initially, she used traditional farming methods. "I had put less than half an acre under maize but after the training I doubled the acreage,” she says.
Musubika’s group was trained regularly by community-based extension workers (CBRWs). Among the support they received was field preparation, harvesting and construction of cribs. Musubika’s husband is veterinary officer within Hoima District. The couple is a beneficiary of a three-year initiative, the Enhancing Local Capacity for Self Reliance Project Legacy that was funded by European Union (EU). AAH Uganda undertook the design and implementation of the project that was started in 2011.
Several other groups benefited through the projects. For instance Muungano Group in Kagoma Village, within Kyangawali Refugee Resettlement. The group’s secretary general Innocent Bahati says they received training on bee-keeping. “We have traditional bee hives that one produce about four kilogrammes of honey. But the one that was introduced to us by European Union made of wood gives us about six kilogrammes,” Bahati explains.
However, the members modified this bee hive by making it longer.” It gives us nine to 10 kilogrammes of honey,” he says. Currently, they have 50 long bee hives, 30 made from mud and ten introduced by EU.
Muungano is among 43 groups in Kyangwali and Kiryandongo areas that were trained in bee-keeping. This was through site identification, setting and management. However, the members face challenges such as lack of market for their locally- processed honey.