Agroforestry and sustainable land management transforming lives of a cattle corridor farmer.

Mr. Namanya John is a young farmer aged 37 years from kigezi village in Maddu Sub county Kigezi Parish, married to   Jane; the couple have 4 children. John is located in a cattle corridor characterised by low and erratic rainfall regimes leading to frequent and severe droughts, and fragile soils with weak structures which render them easily eroded. The couple has been successful in establishing a farm known as Eden farm and they acknowledge the success to Agroforestry and sustainable land management. John is the chairperson and founder of Kigezi coffee cooperative and knew about Vi Agroforestry through its partner Gomba District Farmers Association (GODFA) in 2019.  Eden farm has various enterprises which include: Coffee, Banana (Matooke), Apiary for honey (over 100 beehives) and trees.

Am grateful and very happy to GODFA and Vi Agroforestry who have supported me in the development of our farm. This area is very dry, and the only activity by most people is cattle keeping because the climate cannot support crop growth and so I decided to fight, adapt and mitigate to the effects of drought by implementing Agroforestry and sustainable agriculture land management after getting training from GODFA and I wanted the cattle keepers to learn from me; I use mostly compost and farmyard manure like cow dung which I buy from my neighbours and apply to my coffee and banana and I also do mulch which keeps my crops healthy all year-round. I have been trained in SALM and good agronomic practices in both coffee and matoke; I also make and sell beehives to other people and get income. Our vision is to produce the best coffee in the area by following the procedures to attain coffee quality standards”.

John only harvests quality red coffee berries which fetch more money. Photo by Charles

John Namanya was supported in the construction of wood saving stove and a very big surface water harvesting tank where he draws water for irrigation during a long dry spell. The wife says the stove is very safe and user friendly to children and husband, easy to use, very clean and with less smoke; it takes less time in cooking; she also testifies that after the training on household roadmap, they sit as family and decide on what to do and how to do it; their children do prune, drying and harvesting of coffee. John also testified that they decide together on how to use the proceedings from sale of farm produce in the household. John says:

My income has improved greatly, in 2020 I sold only 2 tons of coffee (FAQ) but now this season and next season I expect 10 tons of coffee and by 2023 my farm will be producing 50 tons of coffee. Matooke has improved from 50-250 bunches every month which yield 40-45Million shillings per year and from the bees I earn 7.2Million shillings per year”.Surface Water harvesting tank at John’s farm.