Uganda Agriculture Project
Abi spent most of 2012 in Uganda where she befriended many different people involved in farming, appropriate technology solutions to agicultural issues, as well as community supported agriculture projects. When she returned home she was inspired to find a way to continue supporting this work in Uganda.
As one of our main objectives, Partnering with Abi would like to help continue Abi's vision by contributing to the efforts of those working towards agricultural solutions in Uganda. Through partnerships at Gulu Univeristy, we were able to provied funding for a Summer 2016 Student Project. The funding was awarded to Eden Susan, a student whose project was to build and test a winnowing machine for village farmers.
The manual winnowing machine is designed to help small scale farmers winnow their produce after threshing. The usual practice of winnowing is to collect the material in a basket or basin and shake it overhead against the wind. The wind blows the lighter chaff away, while the heavier grains fall close to the person winnowing. The process is repeated several times and combined with hand picking of the heavier chaff materials till the grain is clean. This process is labour intensive and time consuming, besides being subject to weather conditions. The manual winnower is designed to ease the process of winnowing of legumes in particular: beans, groundnuts (peanuts) and soya bean
Susan's story: "I am a Ugandan, from Lira district in northern Uganda, aged 23 years old, a girl, first born in a family of eight. I got to the university through the support of my parents who are peasant farmers and it was from the sales of farm produce that they managed to raise my tuition fees. I made the winnowing machine in order to help the poor farmers including my relatives in their farms. I am interested in agriculture especially mechanized agriculture that is why I took an interest in the Israel programme (the government of Uganda wants its students to learn from them). I am interested in upgrading in my studies in the near future in the field of renewable energy, food processing, environmental engineering and water engineering."
The support from PWA allowed Susan to travel and do more extensive testing in the field with a variety of farmers in order to continue to improve this machine. The award was recieved on July 28th, 2016, after which the machine was taken to the rural areas for extensive testing. The tests were conducted at Angapari village, Erute South sub county of Lira District in Northern Uganda over a period of 11 days. A total of 39 people participated in the exercise, winnowing 4990 kg of threshed soya beans.
PWA was very excited that we were able to support this project, where a student was able to further their education, while also working towards improving farmers lives. We look forward to funding even more projects like this in the future as well as continue to hear how Eden Susan's story develops!