A few years ago, Sonia was a subsistence farmer who used to grow a few crops on a small piece of land. “The food was only for home consumption but this would run out within a short time and we would end up starving, especially during the long dry spells,” Sonia explained.
She however says that in 2019, Share An Opportunity Uganda (SAO U) introduced the Integrated Farm Planning (PIP) approach in her community in Abim District.
Through this approach, families are encouraged to work together to cause a change in the well-being of their households. Sonia explains that she was one of the farmers that was selected under the approach. “After being selected, I and other farmers in my community were trained in different commercial farming methods.”
She adds, “Through the training, I have gained skills in crop growing and animal rearing. In 2022, after planning with my children and husband, we grew three different crop varieties for commercial purposes. These included three acres of rice, two acres of maize, and two acres of beans whose yields got us six million Uganda shillings (rice- UGX 4.8m, maize- UGX 800,000 and beans-UGX 400.000).”
Additionally, in their annual plan, Sonia and her husband had integrated crops with goat rearing and fish farming for sale where we got UGX 1,160,000 (Goats- UGX 900,000 and UGX 260,000 from Fish)
“With our UGX 7,160,000 from farm planning, we have been able to agree as a family to use the money to pay for materials to roof and complete the permanent family house. Some money has been used to send our daughter to a better primary school outside the district.”
Sonia is now an enthusiast and dedicated farmer who believes in living life to its fullness. Sonia and her husband together with their three children are happy for having been selected to participate in SAO’s activities
“I am truly very indebted for the technical agricultural training and information I have learned from SAO Uganda.”
She adds that “Our family income has almost doubled from UGX 3,600,000 in 2021 to UGX 7,160,000 in 2022. We hope to consolidate this success with the achievement of all aspects of our household family plans in 2023.”
The mother of three, explains that the well-being of her children and life in the family has changed for good from the time they got involved in integrated farm planning as a family.
“We now have better access to education, medical services, clothing, household food, and nutrition plus housing,” Sonia explains.