Newsletter from Prisca in Aduku
I am Alobo Prisca, a Ugandan by Nationality, Lango by tribe found in Northern Uganda of age 31 years old. In a newly formed district called Kwania,Abongomola sub- county ,Teioro parish, Awanga village.
I went to Arapai Agricultural college and deed a certificate in general agriculture where I have studied both crop production and Animal production / management and joined Busitema university and came out with a diploma in crop production and management.
MY WORK UP TO NOW.
After finishing my certificate level from Arapai that is 2011-2012, I worked with CBOs (Community Base Organization) in Abim District as food and nutrition officer and went back for my studies in 2013-2015. But within the years, I was volunteering in the sub- county and doing some small work of the government within the community like baseline survey in the community, census, registration, Agricultural advice to farmers and many others.
MY START OF WORK AT PHCS.
Plants and Health cooperative society is one of the biggest societies in Kwania district, honest, God fearing organization which is not is not segregative of either tribe or relatives.
I started my work at PHCS last year July by doing the interviews with very many applicants because the advert/ posters were put everywhere in the community centre reachable by everyone and on radios. People applied and I was also one of them and we were short listed and the interviews was conducted at the office premises by some of the board members and district Agricultural officers of Apac District I managed to come out among the many applicants to a staff at PHCS as Agricultural Assistant. And started my implementation in August last year 2018 up to now
SHORT DESCRIPTION OF MY DUTY AT OFFICE
In the office I always do the following;
- Welcoming every farmer who comes for advice pertaining farming / agriculture and others.
- Preparing work plan for every follow up taking place under group station for instance, in farmer family learning groups, land rights, VSLA (Village Saving and Loan Associations), agroforestry follow up etc.
- Writing reports for every follow up or monitoring visit, training which has taken place in office and in groups.
- Preparing demonstration fields for verification of different varieties of crops like in soya bean.
- Preparing nursery beds for agroforestry seeds and seedlings within the office estate like calliandra, jack fruit, passion fruits, mahogany, pines, and mango seedling raised from bare roots and others.
- Organizing training for TOTS and members in the groups.
- Supervising winnowing and sorting of soya bean seeds before packing
SHORT DESCRIPTION OF MY DUTY IN THE FIELD
- Supervising and monitoring crops in the field like this time we have introduce Mak soy 3N new variety which our farmers have never planted and we have given to some few lead farmers to multiply the seeds for the next season. It is doing well and the leaves are dark green in colour, which means it is fixing Nitrogen in the soil approved by Torsten during his monitoring.
- Making soil sample to and detecting soil PH in different parts of the field using PH indicator paper to know the acidity and alkalinity of the soil.
- Training farmers groups on best agronomic practices in farming like planting improved seeds, earlly planting at the on set of the rain, earlly weeding of crops, early pest management practices eg planting pest repelant crops and host crops at the boundary of the garden,post harvest skills, VSLA and record keeping and many others.
- Mobilising and registering newly formed groups to PHCS.
CHALLENGES IN MY DAILY WORK.
- I have no camera to take photos and pictures from the field.
- Some group are far away (long distannce) whereby reaching them takes time especially those in Amolatar district.
- Tree seedling which have distributed to farmers are not suviving well in some of the groups especailly timber trees and calliandra we gave for the first time that is last year November 2018.
- Most farmers are not doing bussiness with the project especailly sale of soya bean produce because they need highy prices from cooperative.
- There was too much drought at the beginning of the year and too much rainfall in the miiddle up to now whereby most crops did not well.
- Most members did not bought shares from the PHCS.
- Some of the group have not yet started their Village Saving and Loan Assosation under there group stations.
- Some TOTS are relaxtant to perform their work which are expected of them especially training farmers eevery week and making group demonstration eg planting trees and soya bean.
- Members are not committed to their work like farming.
GOAL IN THE FUTURE FOR THE PROJECT
- All groups which have registered with PHCS will be saving in VSLA and saccos.
- In every homestead will be a fruit demonstration garden which can provide members with some fruits to eat and money when sold.
- All members will be bulking their produce under each group stores.
- PHCS will be processors of soya.
WRITTEN BY PRISCA; Photos by Torsten