Together with his six children and wife, Alfred (35) lives in Uriama Sub County in Uganda. For a long time, Alfred thought that he was unable to engage in serious farming activities because of his physical and visual disability. “To survive, I was begging for food from family and friends,” Alfred says.
For many people in Uganda, agriculture is an important source of income. Also for Alfred, who only owned a small piece of land. “I only had a quarter acre of cassava garden that I relied on to feed my children,” he says. “My family gave me over five acres of land. The food aid I received and my harvest could hardly feed us, which made my life miserable,” Alfred says. “My hope to provide for my family gradually faded away and I saw no hope of coming out of the state of hopelessness I was in.”
The We are Able! programme, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, strengthens food security for people with disabilities. Alfred was selected by his community as a Farmer Innovator and was trained in the PIP approach (Integrated Farm Plan). With the PIP approach, households are challenged to improve agricultural production by visualizing their ideas for the coming years. In Uganda, We are Able! applies this for people living with a disability. The messages during training preached self-reliance and Alfred embraced them.
Three meals a day
Alfred’s life began to change when he drew his household plan and started implementing it. “I have cultivated two acres of cassava garden, one acre of simsim, beans and groundnut fields,” he says. “I used my transport refund to buy two hens which hatched 21 chicks.” Since then, Alfred’s food security situation has improved. “My family now eats three meals a day thanks to the PIP approach.”
The community Alfred lives in saw the positive changes in his family and has started consulting him to train other community members with a disability in the (PIP) approach. Alfred has already trained seven new households.