How one farm is creating sustainable transformation at New Hope Nursery and Primary School!
Schools in Uganda often face two challenges; sustainable income sources and guaranteed food supply. However, at New Hope Nursery and Primary School, Bugiri, Uganda, these challenges are being met head on.
Through an initial grant from a Fields of Life donor in 2013, the school purchased 18 acres of farmland in order to grow food for the staff and pupils and to generate additional income for the school. Cassava, potatoes, beans, eggplant, rice and tomatoes were planted and this resulted in a harvest that provided more than enough food for the whole school for two terms.
After seeing the success of their first farming project, New Hope Nursery and Primary School have continued to plant crops every year and from the profits have been able to purchase an additional 17 acres of land. As well as this, they recently acquired a pair of oxen to enhance land preparation and improve the planting processes.
This mode of sustainability is not without difficulties, for example, the high costs of transport, rudimentary methods of farming and seasonal changes, particularly flooding. However, this has not deterred the school administration as they can see the many benefits to their hard work.
The income they have generated has enabled the school administration to renovate some buildings, repaint the offices and buy more beds for the school dormitories. Staff salaries have also been increased to enable teachers to cope with the increasing cost of living and this has greatly enhanced staff motivation.
New Hope Nursery and Primary School plan to develop a model farm, using modern agricultural techniques, which other schools can also learn from.
In the short term, the school plan to purchase a tractor for ploughing and a truck to ease the transportation of farm products. In addition to this they will purchase spray pumps, insecticides and more garden tools.
In the next few years the school hope to expand into commercial rearing of goats, cows, pigs and poultry.
At New Hope Nursery and Primary School the farm is not only helping with school food but also providing the resources to keep the entire school afloat.
This is why sustainability is at the centre of every Fields of Life supported project.
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