Goats and bananas to fight poverty

Bananas in central Uganda are a major staple and income source, supporting both rural and urban populations. Due to poor soils and high pest pressure farm households face increasing challenges to maintain banana productivity to capture income opportunities from nearby markets.  Inputs used traditionally (grass mulch, crop residue, and animal manure) have become scarce and expensive. Three farmer groups from Kiboga, Nakaseke and Sembabule districts in Central Uganda collaborated in developing a prototype technology to increase on-farm manure with zero-grazed goats fed with tree/shrub fodder and crop residues.  Over 20 households in each group constructed a goat shelter, planted a banana plot to observe response to goat manure and tree mulch, and planted legume and ‘energy shrubs’. During two years farmer groups met every two months to discuss the status of their prototypes.

Two stories published in New Vision, the Ugandan English language newspaper with the widest circulation in Uganda, show the successful results of this 3 year-project supported by Austria

“Initially I had no liking for goats until I got knowledge on how to handle and rear goats on zero grazing” said Frederick Kisembo from Kiboga district. Having started with an in-kid goat given by Bioversity International, Kisembo currently has seven cross-bread goats and attest that goats are the most rewarding in terms of cost-effectiveness. Read more

At Sam Kasule’s farm in Semuto subcounty, the goat project had led to increase manure production for the gardens and the shrubs has made zero-grazing more rewarding. Read more