6 Months DIG-ing with the Batwa

The Batwa have been caught in a cycle of poverty since 1992 after being evicted from the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and becoming conservation refugees. Still to this day, the Batwa have some of the worst health outcomes certainly in Uganda if not in all of Africa.

This past November, Development in Gardening (DIG) launched an initiative with women leaders from the Batwa community through the support of Dining for Women (DFW) and DIG donors around the US to fight poverty and food insecurity through sustainable agriculture.

Six months have passed and the Batwa are beginning to bear the fruits (& vegetables) of their labor.

This past month was particularly an exciting one for the DIG Uganda Team. We just celebrated the graduation of our farmers from eight groups. The graduating farmers are members who have attended 10 out of 14 trainings. Our curriculum uses practical strategies to measure the groups general understanding of concepts, which ensures that farmers are adequately equipped to implement a successful, healthy garden, unique for their homes.

DIG identified 148 households in the three Batwa communities and graduated 110 farmers from those household.  An additional 105 people participated in nutrition and cooking demonstrations.

Out of the 110 farmers, 75% are female – 82 women.
The graduation was a great ceremony to celebrate all the hard work, time, and effort that went to the initiative so far.

We celebrated:

  • Developing 6 new Community Demonstration Plots
  • Training over 215 People
  • Building 47 Household Gardens
  • Conducting 6 Cooking/Nutrition Demonstrations
  • Introducing 2,225 Additional Vegetable Plants into Home Gardens
  • Beginning the Design Phase for 110 Additional Home Gardens

We are looking forward to the next 6 months, reaching new households – focusing on home garden promotion, and introducing new crops to the demonstration gardens including passion fruits, papaya trees, green pepper, carrots and super greens.

The project sites are in three remote mountainous communities in Southwestern Uganda, Rubanda District; Kinryaushengye, Murubindi, and Rwamahano.