Zaake Paul Gulu U, Uganda
To re-establish the broken soil-food cyclic system to gain fertile soils, health crops, higher yields and quality produces for a health and vigilant population. We appreciate the importance of soil health as one of the key resource in agricultural production. So much of the newly innovated agricultural models are just treating the symptoms. Our target is to solve the basic problem which is poor soil health. If we improve soil health to the point that these nutrients can be transferred and supplied to the plants, we will have plenty of healthy food. This will be done by using earthworms in a process called vermicomposting. Our team will educate, demonstrate, publicize and design the technology to suitably suit the various kinds of users. The would-be waste will be used to improve soil health. Everything will be tied together.
About our team: The Homecotilization team is composed of Zaake Paul, Ajok Patricia and Opolot Sam. All students are from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at Gulu University and are soon graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. Having tested the vermicomposting project during the course of study, now this fully technical team looks forward to implementing the project. The diversity of the team in interests, locality and background is of Importance and will be of advantage. Each has a distinct fluency in the many local languages in Uganda. Paul with coordinating and leadership skills also has interests in blogging, Patricia is an experienced Entrepreneur and a teacher, and Sam brings with him the designing and Art skills. We are combining our technical knowledge on vermicomposting with our unique skills to transform the global community. The Homecotilization team will ensure that the vermicomposting technology is transferred to the people. We will use a flexible-systematic approach to allow beneficiaries to innovatively adopt the technology to best suite their unique conditions. Why we are participating in the challenge: Traditionally the farm system was closed such that most of the would-be waste was returned back into the farm fields. Presently the system is broken. A lot of soil nutrients have been lost majorly with the crop produce as small-holder farmers sell off their produce. This has resulted into a net export of soil nutrients from agricultural lands to urban areas where they are not necessarily utilized. Consequently soil has been severely degraded leading to low yields and the rate of decline in yields is increasing rapidly. Homecotilization team wants to secure funds to implement the project so as to improve sanitation at home, reduce pollution, and improve the health of the soils. With health soils we will be sure of a health food system. What we care about: Vermicomposting is a proven organic intervention used by millions of farmers worldwide. And it has been proven to be a very good source of organic fertilizer in the past 100 years. The production of vermin-compost involves deliberately breeding earthworms in a mixture of manure, soil, household waste, and agriculture residue till the whole mass is converted into cast. Vermicomposting is superior to other organic manures. The nutrients required by plant are available in plenty and a lower amount is required to be applied in the field. There are no organized sectors, local government as well as central government, or private organizations taking deliberate efforts to emphasize the role of vermicomposting in Uganda Particularly. There is a need for participatory awareness and demonstration towards farmers to the positive effects of vermin-compost. What we want to do: Large amount of biodegradable organic waste is being wasted in cities and towns, creating disposal problems. At the farms there is an increasing depletion of nutrients and small-holder farmers cannot afford the chemical fertilizers. The project seeks to establish a link to ensure that the would-be waste is converted into organic fertilizer by the earthworms. This process is called vermicomposting. We will provide the technical and logistical support about vermicomposting to the population using effective strategies. We will use demonstrations, farmer-field schools, forums, workshops, radios and social-networks to reach-out to people. Our team will establish and manage the project blog and a website. We will penetrate and partner with existing structures in the society including agricultural extension service providers, local government, Non-Government Organizations, and others. For sustainability, we will buy the ready-compost from producers in urban areas and test it for consistence. We may need to homogenize the fertilizer before availing it to small-holder farmers. Farmers will become more resilient to extreme weather. That way, we will have re-established a more sustainable cyclic food system. And amazingly it is profitable at any scale of operation and a threesome win situation for all of us.