Greetings from Uganda! Cheryl and I have returned from a brief trip to Canada and USA to primarily visit family and care of a small, important piece of business… obtain new drivers licenses for both of us. The trip came about quickly and we had little time to visit more friends… next time.
We just want to share a few of the things we are involved in… a pig project, nursery training, sustainable woodlots and a new nursery skills program. Our focus is “creating opportunities, not handouts“. Many requests for assistance come to us every week… we try to help with an opportunity… a job, a skills training program, counselling time.
A Big Pig Story – Our Pig Project
A couple of years ago we began a piggery project. We had several reasons for wanting to do this.
1. We need manure and other organic matter to restore soil. Circular farming.
2. Uganda has the highest pork consumption rate in sub-Saharan Africa. Always a market for pork.
3. The meat is a good source of protein and pigs are not difficult to raise. They are not picky eaters.
4. Training – pigs are a project that farmers and students can be trained in and quickly gives them a source of income.
We began using a deep litter system with Indigenous Micro Organisms (IMO). “No Smell Pigs!“
We started with a few mixed breed pigs just to see how well we could follow the system. And it worked wonderfully.
The next step was to find the best breed available in Uganda for our needs. We were able to purchase these from an Irish company about halfway across the country. We chose the Camborough breed that has a high food to weight
conversion ratio. Also lower in fat percentage and has a good success rate in births with high litter numbers. We purchased some breeding stock.
The deep litter system with IMO, the Camborough breed, and our feeding plan, produce high quality, delicious pork. One restaurant in town has customers complaining if they serve any other pork.
We have trained many students and have a program that allows for students to remain after completion of our Intensive Agribusiness Training program to work for a pig. This gives them more experience and the knowledge needed to start a piggery as a business.
We host regular training workshops that have been attended by many organizations, church groups, orphanages and private individuals. We recently held a four day training for Congolese refugees from a refugee camp in the western part of Uganda.
Another goal in getting a good quality breed was to make high quality pigs available to local farmers. Now we are able to do that. There is a program for single teenage mothers right near our farm and we will soon be beginning to train young ladies in pigraising, provide the program with piglets, and teach them other agricultural skills.
Right now we cannot keep up with the demand. So we are presently expanding our sties on two locations and are purchasing additional sows. Much of the success of this can be contributed to Micheal, in charge of live stock
and Shanita a trainer who have faithfully made this work. Hallelujah!
Crisis Coming Very Fast Along With a Solution – Planting the Right Trees in the Right Place
All kinds of trees are being cut down across the nation for making charcoal and gathering wood for cooking. Forests are disappearing with no serious plan of action for replanting. Beside charcoal is there is no current or near future viable solution for biomass for the urban and rural poor. Even mature, producing fruit trees are being cut done. Greed, poverty and lack of knowledge are the reasons. One solution that Our Trees Our Future is demonstrating and training rural land owners on is, How to grow and maintain Sustainable Woodlots.
There are a number of indigenous fast growing, timber tree species that can be used by farmers, small landowners to create wooodlots that will meet there own needs for bio-mass and timber, and as well create revenue by selling the wood to city/town dwellers. One species (melia volkensii & melia azedarach) grows very quickly, are in a hardwood family, and can be coppiced to keep producing new growth. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coppicing.
Our Trees Our Future does not just distribute fruit trees but many other important trees that are solutions to address current and future needs in this part of Africa.
Sustainable Woodlots are one answer to the urgent, growing problem Uganda is facing. We are actively assisting rural farmers who will set up model tree stands with seedlings and training. Our experience in Africa, is that seeing is believing. For change of mind to occur and implentation of new practices, all the senses must be involved. Working models are a big part of what we do… practical not theoretical, boots on the ground, seeing is believing, hands-on.
We welcome you to partner with us in expanding this simple, sustainable solution.
Creation Care Learning Tours
New Training Program Begins Today – Nursery Establishment and Management
Providing an opportunity for youth that don’t have many opportunities to learn a hands-on skill. We have excellent trainers and a great learning environment! Can you help sponsor one or more of these course participants?
Why not? What could we do together? Plant trees in communities & schools. Work side by side with our staff in the gardens, nurseries, etc. Do some training with young people. See the beauty of Uganda and/or Kenya. Go on a wildlife safari. Celebrate amazing African culture (song, dance, colour, and much more). Visit the source of the famous Nile River. Let’s talk about it … Contact us.
Consider a visit to East Africa in 2023-24
* Prayer for our health & safety
* Prayer for wisdom when hiring and releasing young people. Having the right people is central to everything!
* Thanks for supporting our training programs and prayer for financial assistance for students in 2023
* Thanks for your financial gifts to plant trees, train young people, provide jobs to young people
* For our personal support – Thank you to those who continue to assist us monthly.
Thank you for your partnership, friendship, prayer and financial support!
Nick & Cheryl