Following years of conflict, Uganda has an open-door policy to refugees who receive a plot of land from the government on arrival. Anglican International Development’s agriculture programme trains these refugees in the northern Uganda camps in sustainable farming techniques.
Pastor Thomas Lubari and his team use the ‘Foundations for Farming’ method which provides farming training with a Christian foundation, seeking to combat ‘prosperity gospel’ false teaching which encourages Christians not to work. Participants develop their farming skills which in turn helps to combat environmental hazards such as soil erosion and deforestation.
Following the training, seeds and tools are provided for the trained refugee farmers to put their new skills into practice. The participants plant a variety of crops including maize, beans, groundnuts, onions and tomatoes and at harvest, the refugees are able to provide food for their families from their small holdings and sell produce on to make a profit. The harvest in 2017 was a great success – one farmer’s onions were even presented at an agricultural show in Moyo, Uganda!
From 10th January to 6th February, Thomas started training a new group of 105 farmers across seven refugee camps*. Following a few challenges including a car crash at Rhino camp and some unforeseen expenses, the training sessions ran successfully at all seven camps, plus one in Juba, South Sudan. The farmers have now received seeds and are planting them to coincide with the rainy season.
Please pray for all the refugee farmers participating in this year’s agriculture training – for abundant harvests, opportunities to share their skills with others and a desire to grow in their knowledge and love of God too. Please pray too for farming solutions in rocky areas where crop farming is not viable. Thomas has considered poultry and goat farming but some wisdom will be required.
*The Ugandan government stipulates that 25% of beneficiaries from NGO projects are Ugandan citizens, so 75% of participants are refugees.