When Agnes Katushabe (53) volunteered her farm as a demonstration site to promote the production of healthy and nutritious food crops, she didn’t anticipate the benefits she would get from the experience.
‘Before the project, my family ate the same thing again and again and we were often sick. We saw amaranthus flowers growing in the field but didn’t know that the seeds would be good for us, and used to just give papaya to the pigs,’ she recalls.
Witnessing the Self Help Africa trainer in action changed all that however. Now, amaranthus and papaya are an essential part of Agnes’ new diet.
‘Being involved in the project also taught me new and different ways to plant and tend the crops we already grew, so they are also healthier.’
Every few weeks Agnes’ neighbours gather to attend farmer training and receive demonstrations on her farm in Ibanda District in South-Western Uganda.
An enthusiastic participant in the sessions herself, she points out rows of cabbages, carrots and ripening passion fruit plants and states with a smile: ‘When I look at my gardens and see what I am going to harvest this year I feel good about the future.’
Agnes confides that initially she was concerned about hosting the demonstration plot, but she now concedes that she has actually benefitted twice from the project.
‘The training taught me new things, while I also have the enjoyment of welcoming people to my home. Before, I was shy, but now It makes me proud to have the community come to my farm. I am very happy. You can see the smile on my face.’