Since 1994 Keirere Green Africa Agency, has been the sole producer of planting materials, thats Coffee, Tea, Fruits and tree seedlings for community and other big government ventures. In 2006 We carried out an inventory for the operators and a mapping was done for the practice and species at each Nursery in the Ankole region, there were 7 large scale and 46 Medium size nurseries, these Nurseries have played a big role in promoting enterprises in through supply of planting material, to communities that select either coffee or tea or fruits as their desired enterprise.
These nurseries have contributed a lot to the economy of the country to Mention, a number of them were involved in the Tea project, coffee production and they produce between 5,000 and 300,000 seedlings annually depending on the size of the nursery, and total production has been in the range of 7-10 million seedlings per annum. The nurseries are of crucial importance for agro forestry and agricultural productivity in Uganda because they are the source of most seedlings produced in the country, including all those used for government-sponsored projects, as well as the majority for plantings by communities and individuals.
Previously the methods used for seedling production in most nurseries are very labour intensive using hand tools and simple equipment. There is minimal use of chemicals for fertilizing, soil amendment, or pest and disease control. There were no special germination sheds or glass houses and some nurseries had no stores. In the last few years there has been some improvement as the KEGRA trained and equipped the operators with plant handling skills. However All the nurseries currently rely on simple, non-mechanized, unsophisticated production methods with low investment in nursery plant and equipment and a low level of training of nursery employees.
With deterring seasons of relatively low rainfall. The quality of planting stock produced in nurseries can have an appreciable influence on both survival and growth of seedlings, especially in unfavorable environments. To improve on the quality of planting materials produced in each member Nursery Bed, the association has been carrying out routine inspection and now, and need for training has been discovered for the operators and employees
GREEN SCHOOLS NETWORK
There are an abundance of initiatives taking place in Uganda, which facilitate and recognise increasing levels of sustainable environmental behaviour and activity. These programmes are taking place in the home, in schools, in communities, in agricultural farms estates and in the towns (e.g. waste management on municipalities and tree planting
Green-Schools network for exemplary living compounds, school with best sanitation, water harvesting and community service for students, all these being initiated by KEGRA, we are now looking to further interest the
Many of these initiatives are being facilitated by Local Authorities; national environmental management authority to look into facilitated these initiatives to make them more sustainable. However, the success of these activities is based on the commitment and drive of local communities.
COMMUNITIES GOING GREEN
As there is such a wide range of initiatives, an overarching framework (Greening Communities Programme) is currently being developed which aims to prevent duplication and increase effectiveness. It will also recognise and acknowledge community contribution, in many aspects, including soils water conservation using vetiver systems, family to family sanitation aspects and number of trees planted in the families. The organisation in conjunction with NEMA will awards green schools and community leaders mobilising community to go green,
Demonstration schools and community projects will be nominated and posted on this website, further more different types of communities will be chosen as to test the effectiveness of greening each community type. The approach to the greening communities’ process will be tailored for each project through the demonstration process.
ANKOLE COMMUNITY GARDENING PROGRAM
The Mission of the Ankole Community Gardening Association is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the communities in western Uganda
Ankole Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is an initiative of KEGRA and is a membership program, of churches, schools, organization of professionals, volunteers and supporters of community greening in urban and rural communities.
The Association recognizes that community gardening improves people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighbourhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighbourhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education.
ACGA and its member organizations work to promote and support all aspects of community food and ornamental gardening, tree planting, seedling production, preservation and management of open space, and integrated planning and management of developing urban and rural lands.
The Association program supports community gardening by facilitating the formation and expansion of community, and schools community gardening networks; developing resources in support of community gardening; and, encouraging research and conducting educational programs using KEGRA Film Van in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture Resource Centre.
Ankole Community Gardening Association is registered as mentioned it’s an initiative of KEGRA and every community group is registered and supported resourceful where necessary by our CAT, the program accepts funding from donors that support gardening and the more support in terms of labour and land from members
The program towards ‘growing your own’ has developed in recent years in almost all the regions of Uganda with a number of private allotment sites, but community gardens or community allotment sites and a growing interest in organic gardening courses and composting has to be implemented, KEGRA is to work with churches to implementing this for the service of people to assist in learning and equipping Christians with skills in gardening, post-harvest techniques and organic farming.
Churches will be supported to establish garden and an annual competition will be on to nominate good examples in good communal gardening of the different food crops that are of importance in promoting food security
The programme aim is to promote the idea of communal gardening – community garden style, allotments or grow your own groups with residents associations, local authority and private and with peri-urban groups. As part of this the provisional trainings are conducted during church services and community meeting by our Community Action Teams (CAT) and refresher course in seedling production, at KEGRA nurseries, it is also proposed to evaluate awareness levels before and during the pilot period to assess awareness of a number of environmental issues. The training would include organic gardening, energy, waste and water management in the home and garden and promotion of Green Home and Green Communities programmes. As part of the pilot process, the benefits of the Communal Garden in terms of Environmental, Social and Economic aspects will be assessed. Possible outcomes will include a manual on lessons learnt, best practice and outputs. Issues such as, the barriers to use of public land and the availability of micro-financing will also be explored.
Agricultural markets at the national and international level are driven by value chains that link rural areas with big retailers or supermarket chains in the urban setting as well as export markets. The biggest challenge is integrating small farmers into value chains viable market actors and partners. Without small farmer-focused value chain development, increasing numbers of farmers will be marginalized and excluded from profitable markets and continue to be trapped in subsistence production. Closer business links between the various actors of the value chain have great potential for mutual benefit. Our role at KEGRA is to link farmers to inputs, farm technologies, and integrate them into agricultural cooperatives that directly create market linkages with local retailers, exporters, traders or agribusinesses.