Small farm-based holistic model
RIDE AFRICA has developed its own model of intervention focused on yield improvement, agribusiness and human development. The problems faced by small farmers can be grouped in three categories. Input-Throughput (farm level) and Output and our approach addresses each of these categories by deploying our 4Ps strategy (Production, Participation, Partnership, and Profitability).
Integrated Farming Systems
Sustainable agriculture means an integrated approach to increasing farm yield and managing resources in order to address all three critical aspects of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. RIDE AFRICA has adopted the Integrated Farming Systems approach to stabilise income streams through natural resource management and livelihood diversification.
The informal agriculture smallholder sector has always been the foundation of food security in rural Uganda. With a heavy reliance on ecosystem services such as soil conditions, water resources and forests, this system has provided food and shelter for most of the population in the Rwenzori region and Uganda as a whole and has been the main safety net during difficult times. Disturbances to the smallholder system by unsustainable land use practices and climate change will reduce the capacity of this system to feed the populace and will place significant cost burdens on the government. Climate variability and climate change pose a serious threat to such systems if planning is not undertaken now to manage soil fertility.
Our approach has multiple objectives of sustainability, value chain, food security, farmer security and poverty reduction. It involves use of outputs of one enterprise component as inputs for other related enterprises wherever feasible, for example, cattle dung mixed with crop residues and farm waste can be converted in to nutrient-rich vermi-compost. The salient features of Integrated Farming Systems include – innovation in farming for maximising production through optimal use of local resources, effective recycling of farm waste for productive purposes, community-led local systems for water conservation, organic farming, and developing a judicious mix of income-generating activities such as piggery dairy, poultry, fishery, goat-rearing, vermicomposting and others. Our model builds farmer capacities for adoption of productive, remunerative, eco-friendly and self-sustaining integrated farming systems.