While Uganda is predominantly an agricultural country (employs about 80% of the population), various pests and diseases have continued to limit the development and performance of its agricultural sector. Pests and diseases in Uganda include; Maize stalk borer, Mealy bugs, nematodes, Banana wilt, Banana anthracnose, Ticks, Rodents and Cartapillers. Although the Ugandan climate favors many agricultural pests and diseases, only 3.4% of farmers in Uganda use agrochemicals. A lot of agricultural produce is therefore lost at the farm and in stores due to absence of affordable pesticides.
The over 88% of Ugandans who live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods are the most poverty stricken according to welfare indicators (MAAIF and MFPED, 2000). This poverty situation is attributed to slower growth in agriculture and decline in farm-gate prices.
The slower growth in agriculture is attributed to absence of dynamism within the agricultural sector to invest in indigenous science and technological research – E.g, the Republic of Korea spends 2.6% of its GDP on science and technological research related to both the primary and the manufacturing sector, while Uganda spends just 0.8% of its GDP.
To boost poverty stricken rural livelihoods that largely depend on agriculture in the face of rampant pests and diseases, stringent measures based on cheap and locally available environmental resources are urgently needed for farmers, who have sat on the periphery of global economy for a long time.
Advantages of Organic Pesticide Technologies (OPTs):
- They are made from locally available materials and highly effective in preventing and controlling pests and diseases
- Easy to make and apply
- Inexpensive alternative to chemical pesticides
- Improves soil fertility
- Contributes to climate change control. For instance, if crops are grown organically, about 580 billion pounds of carbondioxide can be removed from the atmosphere.
PEMO AND THE ORGANIC PESTICIDE TECHNOLOGIES PROJECT:
Premised on the above backgound, PEMO in 2007 designed a scientific but cheap strategy (The OPTs) with a major aim of improving agricultural performance and rural livelihoods, and at the same time contribute to climate change control through increased research, manufacture, and use of OPTs.
Mukono district was used as the pilot district; this is because it was one of the most infested sitricts by pests and disease in Uganda. Ngogwe and Ntunda sub-counties were then selected out of a total of 12 sub-counties that make up Mukono district. over 280 farmers in the selected sub-counties were trained on how to manufacture and apply organic pesticides. Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and model farms were formed in each of the selected sub-counties to help implement OPT technologies and other agricultural and environmental strategies within the wider community of Mukono district.
Monitoring and Evaluation Results show that;
- farmers have managed to save their incomes which they used previously to spend on expensive agrochemicals.
- farmers have also opened up savings and credit micro-finance banks for their savings and socio-economic development
- the CBOs formed are now used as units through which market information; and information on sustainable organic agriculture, climate change control, and environmental management flows at the community level
In 2008, Farmers of Ntunda subcounty opened up a savings and credit micro-finance as a result of improved agricultural performance after the OPTs Project in their subcounty. They attribute this new development to the increased savings from the continued use of the OPTs which are highly effective in controlling pests and diseases; as such crop production per unit actare has improved, yet OPTs are also cheap and easy to make as opposed to the imported agrochemicals
Above is the Ntunda subcounty Organic Farmers’ Development Organisation formed as a result of the Organic Pesticide Technologies Project in Mukono District. It is comprised of 27 executive members; where 11 are women, and 16 are men.
Important to note:
Arising from this project (OPTs Project) is that more scientific research is needed on numerous pests and diseases, and the benefits of OPTs need to be extended to other agricultural areas of Uganda and probably to many more sub-sahara African Countries especially those that are infestested with agricultural pests and diseases yet economically constrained but naturally endowed with a variety of natural resources that can be tapped to make OPTs.
Who we are:
Practicing Environmental Mangers’ Organization (PEMO) is currently the only youth-led environmental organization in Uganda by environmental graduates. It is probably also the only youth-led organization of this kind in Africa. PEMO enables youth career environmentalists to motivate the world towards local and international commitments in environmental conservation and sustainable development. As a leading environmental organization in the country and probably in Africa, PEMO undertakes very innovative environmental projects stretching from environmental research, awareness programs and proactive restoration of degraded environments More>>>
PEMO is guided by a vision of a healthy environment for sustainable livelihoods.
PEMO strives to create a concerned and motivated constituency outside and within government with an interest in, and knowledge of, environmental issues that can in turn act to increase government commitment to, and awareness of pressing environmental issues.
- Promotes environmental education with special emphasis on youth
- Enables networking of various organizations and individuals for the purposes of sustainable development
- Contributes to research and knowledge through environmental research and consultancy
- Increases awareness of, and interest in environment
- Conserves and regenerates degraded environments
- Does any lawful activity in pursuit of its mission and vision.
- Schools Environment Practice Clubs: Enabling upcoming environmental entrepreneurs More>>>
- Participatory natural resources management: From the bottom up More>>>
- Environmental Management through dialogue More>>>
- Weekly Radio and TV Talk Shows: Enlightening the masses More>>>
- 5 million trees 2007 project: Taking climate change by the horns More>>>
- Volunteering opportunities at PEMO: You too can contribute something More >>>
- PEMO Partners: Strength in unity More>>>
FOR PEMO projects in Pictures: Click here
PEMO P.O.BOX 8957 Plot 710, Block 5 Gayaza Road Adjacent to Group Hotel EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +256712499351/+256782646887/+256711628634 www.pemo.wordpress.com