Back in October last year, we told you all about one of our featured partners, the Uganda-based Organic Perspectives, a nonprofit focused on environmentally-friendly agricultural efforts and self-sustainability. Founded in 2007, Organic Perspectives promotes food security and expands local farmers’ incomes by contributing to “sustainable and economically-viable” agricultural forays (organic-persp.org, 2012). Employing dedicated resources from a small handful of partners like Cat Cora’s Chefs for Humanity and Random Acts itself, Organic Perspectives works to equip the rural poor of the African nation with the opportunity and training to build up the Uganda Community Farm, a self-sustaining effort meant to cancel out extreme poverty and hunger.
Last fall, after learning about the team’s unique needs and finding out which items farmers needed most, Random Acts was able to purchase for Organic Perspectives several items (totaling $9,300 altogether) including several watering instruments and pumps; four acres of various carrot, ginger, and garlic seeds; and soil preparation and support for each of the fields.
Just this month, Random Acts received word that the seed and soil, farming supplies, and water pumps had all been instrumental in the progress made by the amazing Uganda-based Organic Perspectives crew over the past 11 months, which reported this week that, despite a few initial frustrating setbacks, things were indeed moving forward.
“[At] the beginning, we opted to handle one crop at a time, starting with … the most laborious which require the largest financial input,” explained founder and patron Anthony Kalulu. “We therefore began with ginger, and have since worked up a full acre.”
Even with the rainy season quickly drawing to a close, the team was able to excavate 89 pits for the donated ginger seed (approximately 10 feet by 6 feet) last fall, planting about half of them before the weather dried up in December.
“When the rains returned [in March], we embarked on continuous work in a very remote village called Kagulu,” said Kalulu, explaining that the team had begun planting the remaining target crops, carrot and garlic, as well.
Even with a severe dry-spell withering much of the planted ginger seeds this past winter, Kalulu maintained that the group was confident about the project, especially given its several new crowdfunding campaigns, partnerships with Greater Good and The Hunger Site (both nonprofit networking sites), and a brand new volunteer public relations effort that would act as the organization’s front line for communications. Despite a tough agricultural year, things have definitely been looking up.
“The pits are in place and have all been filled with manure,” he explained optimistically. “We’ll simply re-plant the new ginger when the rains return.” Some of the group’s newly established demonstration centers, where local farmers would eventually be trained in raising the ginger crops, were already in use as well.
“The two demonstration centers that we set up—specifically the […] ginger ones—are actively being used by local people,” said Kalulu. “Local farmers visit the centers on their own and transfer skills learned here [to their communities back home].”
With the group’s trademark brand of positivity and its dedicated partnership with Random Acts and so many others who are eager to lend a hand, the coming months should prove even more fruitful — in more ways than one.
To find out about Organic Perspectives and see what they’ve been up to in recent days, head on over to check out their website and watch their progress. You can also donate to Organic Perspectives and the Uganda Community Farm effort by visiting their Indiegogo page here.
All photos via Organic Perspectives/Global Giving.