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World Refugee Day 2023

Posted On: June 20, 2023
farmer Cicilia Adare harvests tomatoes in her home garden in Omugo Refugee Settlement
Omugo Refugee Settlement resident Cicilia Adare harvests tomatoes in her home garden.

As we mark World Refugee Day, reductions in UN World Food Programme rations in northern Uganda have exacerbated refugees’ struggles to feed their families. The limited food rations provided consist of just grain and cooking oil—a diet that lacks diversity and essential nutrients for human health and development.

While Uganda has a unique refugee policy that encourages the production of food by allocating small plots of land to each refugee family, few refugees have the skills and knowledge to sustainably grow their own vegetables to eat, or to sell for profit.  

Together with AGFUND, East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation provides training in home vegetable gardening in Omugo and Imvepi refugee settlements in this region, and requests for our services have increased over the past several months. These home gardens enable refugees to affordably produce fresh, healthy vegetables by efficiently using the small plots of land they are allotted. The vegetables they grow supplement the insufficient food rations and provide key nutrients to ease family malnutrition. 

Home gardens can also serve as a source of much-needed income. The new farmers we train can generate about US$42 per season from their small gardens. With our intervention, South Sudanese refugees in this region have been equipped with knowledge of vegetable production and have started producing vegetables for self-consumption and market sales. Some hire plots of land from the host community and cultivate vegetables, with an eye toward bigger markets and starting a solid business. 

Recently, the Director and Board Chair of EWS-KT visited the project sites with AGFUND and Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture to explore upscaling efforts to further address food security and nutrition in the refugee settlements.

Watch the video below to learn more about this vital project and see some of the refugees’ flourishing gardens.

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