Posted on August, 4, 2017 at 11:39 am
Karimoja youth and women have turned to communal farming as te only way to improve their livelihood and beat hunger. In groups of 30 to 40 members with short-hand hoes descend on maize and sorghum gardens as early as 7:00am and Keep at it until 4:00pm. The members with bedsheets wrapped around their necks and waists till each other’s gardens and celebrate by drinking local brew at the end of each day.
The drinking ritual is meant to attract more leaders of the community to join them in carrying out agricultural activities. Ann Chilla from Kokoria women’s group in Kacheli sub-county, Kotido district, said traditionally women and the youth would join the men in cattle raids, but after the disarmament exercise, they became redundant. Chilla said extension workers from Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) approached her because of her fame in the villages and asked her to mobilize women so they could get into development activities.
“ For a londtime, we depended on the World Food Programme (WFP) for our daily meals and on our cattle. I never imagined that we could actually produce our own food and have surplus for selling. It is amazing how our mindset has changed, after being organized by ADRA she said. She noted that the men have also started responding positively to agriculture as some of them have started farming. It has not been a smooth journey to convince men to be part of our farming groups. ADRA had to call them for meetings and constantly remind them that it was the only way
Source: New Vision Friday August 4, 2017 Page 35