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Nov 2012 26

Celebrating a new group’s first harvest! Kica Ber!

Posted in News

By Chris Maclay and Francis Opio

Recently, the group Kica Ber (meaning ‘Being Kind is Good’) from Abole, about an hour from Gulu town, harvested a 2-acre maize (corn) garden. GRG had provided agricultural inputs and training as part of a grant from the US Embassy in March 2012, and in early October, the produce was ripe. Members were so happy with their produce, and their good cooperation to get to this stage, that they arranged a harvest celebration.

 

GRG providing follow-up agricultural training in May while the maize was still growing.

The 35-member group secured a high-yield harvest from their land, which was donated by one of the group members. As one member, Nelson Okello, explained, ‘In comparison with our previous harvest, this time we got a good harvest, and we expect some good money this time [from the proceeds].’ The group estimated produce of six to seven bags of maize (corn) kernels, which would fetch at least 400,000 shillings (roughly US$175).

They were so happy with what they achieved, that they decided to host a celebration while they were processing the maize. Each member contributed funds, and together the group purchased a goat to slaughter and eat while they were working together. ‘It was as a reward for our hard work’, as one member explained. This shows significant progress for a group combining ex-combatants with others community members.

A group member helps spread the maize for drying

Group members were happy to see what they could achieve when they worked together; as one Okello Nelson said, ‘Being in a group has increased our productivity, as we cultivate larger pieces of land than before.’ The group was ready to invest further, and is planning to specialise in onion production next season. The group is taking one challenge at a time; as Komakum Alfred pointed out: ‘We are happy with the yield this time. Now our next challenge is finding a good market.

 

 

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