By Charles Tumuhe
In the picturesque village of Kizigo, nestled in the heart of Bwikwe district, an agricultural revolution is taking place. At the forefront of this movement is Samuel Kabuye, the visionary founder of the Kabuye Samuel (KSAM) farm. Established in 2009, this farm has become a beacon of hope, empowering women and youth through agroecological farming techniques.
Diverse crops flourish on the fertile lands of KSAM, including pumpkins, hibiscus, coffee, bananas, and jack beans. Among these, pumpkins have emerged as the star of the show, thanks to their exceptional production capacity, rapid maturation, and outstanding nutritional value. By focusing on these remarkable vegetables, KSAM is not only boosting its productivity but also promoting healthier diets within the community.
The farm’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond crop cultivation. Animals are an integral part of the ecosystem at KSAM, with their nourishment solely derived from the farm’s vegetation. What makes this approach truly remarkable is the ingenious use of animal manure as organic fertilizer for the crops. By closing the loop and utilizing available resources efficiently, KSAM sets a shining example for sustainable farming practices.
But KSAM’s impact reaches far beyond its own fields. The farm actively engages in the production of bio-inputs, such as biofertilizers, which enhance the soil’s water storage capacity. This innovation ensures a vibrant green cover on the farm all year round. Moreover, KSAM not only employs these bio-inputs but also sells them to other farmers, while providing them with valuable education on their production and usage. Through these initiatives, KSAM has fortified its resilience against the challenges posed by climate change, benefiting not only its own operations but also assisting approximately 3,000 farmers in Bwikwe and 35 other districts across Uganda.
The success of KSAM has caught the attention of high-ranking officials and professionals, who have flocked to learn from the farm’s expertise in pumpkin farming and agroecological practices. This newfound interest has sparked a transformation in the local mindset towards agriculture. Take Janet, for example, a former nursing assistant who found her passion at KSAM. Through her journey, she embraced the principles of agroecological farming and mastered the cultivation of chemical-free vegetables. Today, she cultivates two acres of pumpkins and reaps an impressive profit margin of approximately 5,000,000 UGX per season from each acre. Janet’s story is just one among many that exemplify the positive impact of KSAM on individuals’ lives.
The farm’s success has also ignited a spark in the younger generation. Inspired by KSAM’s achievements, young people are now actively involved in pumpkin production, organic fertilizer manufacturing, and even breeding black soldier flies. These income-generating activities have not only provided them with a livelihood but also infused the agricultural sector with fresh energy and enthusiasm.
Furthermore, KSAM has established vital information exchange partnerships with organizations like the Advocacy Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture, RUCID, and Uganda Youth at Risk Development Network. Through these collaborations, the farm has connected with diverse farmers, facilitating farm learning tours and knowledge-sharing initiatives. By actively promoting agroecology farming and building resistance to climate change, KSAM has become a catalyst for positive change within the community.
Samuel Kabuye’s vision has truly transformed the agricultural landscape in Kizigo village and beyond. Through empowering women and youth, promoting sustainable practices, and fostering knowledge exchange, KSAM farm has become a symbol of hope, resilience, and prosperity. As the farm continues to flourish, we can look forward to a brighter and more sustainable future for Ugandan agriculture.