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Making maize go further

Asiimwe Tibirigirwa is chair of her local women’s group in Uganda’s Kabarole district. For the last four years, they have teamed up to farm maize and beans, with superb results.

The motivated group hired five acres of farmland and their first harvest produced 4,500kgs of crops, earning the group 2,250,000 Ugandan Shillings. After costs, the group of 30 women shared £432.

Asiimwe said: “We had never raised such an amount from a single crop harvest. Our harvests at household level always only catered for our subsistence needs with nothing left to sell.

“Now as a group, if we continue with this collective farming approach, we shall have adequate funds to save and invest in other profitable business.”

Savings and loans

The women have also set up a savings and loans group to allow them to invest and borrow money for emergencies or to build businesses like basket weaving and baking.

Farm Africa is working to help them increase the value of their traditional maize harvests by reducing waste through improved storage and processing their crops.

Turning waste into energy

We set up training to teach farmers how to make charcoal briquettes from agricultural waste. Asiimwe and her fellow farmers learnt how maize cobs and stalks can be made into briquettes – turning previously unused waste into a source of energy, and reducing the need to use up local firewood.