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Factory Zone, Lungujja, Kitunzi, Rubaga, Kampala

Ariebi United farmer group

Ariebi United farmer group is located in Ariebi village, Orungo Parish, Orungo Sub County in AMURIA district. The group is composed of 30 members of whom 26 are female and 4 are male. Akello Irene the chairperson of the group narrates her experience engaging in the 3-year farmer driven research journey.

“My name is Irene Akello and I am 34 years of age, married to one husband and together we have 7 children of which 2 are twins. Am a farmer, I am involved in elective politics where I am Parish Councilor and privileged to be the chairperson of Ariebi United Farmer for last two years.

“When the Cereal FRN project team came to our Sub County of Orungo, they were looking for farmer groups (FGs) that were active and registered with the office of the Community Development officer (CDO). Fortunately, our group Ariebi United FG was registered and our file was at the Sub County. We were lucky to be considered as one of the 10 farmer groups to carry out the research project.

“Since the start of the research, we have been involved in investigating ways of overcoming the problem of striga weed in sorghum and millet in our fields. Striga is a serious challenge for us in this area.

“To zero down to striga weed as an area of our research, we were helped by our teachers, the FINASP staff. They took us through an exercise called Research agenda development. Here we were able to identify what our production challenges were, while they were being listed on a flip chart. We then ranked them in order of importance; number one being the most important or most troublesome challenge to production.

“After it came out clearly that striga was our number one challenge we went ahead to list all the possible intervention measures to control striga weed as: use of farm yard manure, use of resistant varieties and intercropping with green grams and cowpeas.

 “Since the start of the research as a group we noticed that there are better ways of managing the amount of seed used in planting and still harvest more. We gained more knowledge on how to control or minimize the effects of striga in our millet and sorghum fields and we are also passing on the same knowledge to other farmers. Within my community, many farmers are now paying more attention to one of the improved varieties, SESO 3, because it is tolerant to striga weed, gives high yield and has ready market. Personally, I have benefited from SESO 3,  in  2020, as a household we planted 8kg in 1 acre field and harvested 4 bags of the threshed sorghum, we sold all the 4 bags amounting to 440kg  and earned U shs 390,000 and used  that money to complete the payment of a piece of land we were buying in installments and the balance was used to purchase onion seeds for my kitchen garden and I hope the onions I will harvest fetch some little money to cater for our basic needs as a family. “I will attribute the change that I see to intervention of this research project in our community and specifically to Ariebi United FG. Because if it were not for it, we would not have gotten this awakening that we farmers can ourselves come up with solutions that can control striga in millet and sorghum crop fields and also be able to increase crop yield. This change started to manifest during the second year of our research i.e. the year 2019.

With the sorghum and millet that I have my household has food because in Teso we prepare “Atapa” out of cassava and sorghum or millet mixture. I have seen that NAROSORG 2 is really good for this.

 “I thank so much all those that were involved in making sure that we get the knowledge and new ideas. I thank FINASP for training us in the group and I thank NaSARRI for improved seed of sorghum and millet. I believe that with these, knowledge and improved seed; I will never be the same again as a farmer and particularly a cereal farmer.”