This photo is of the CPAR Uganda Ltd (CPAR) Headquarters in Lira and it is located in the grounds of its Lira Base Camp (land and buildings). The photo was taken on the evening of Monday, 22nd November 2016, by Norah Owaraga, the CPAR Managing Director.
CPAR has dug up the grass lawns at its Headquarters and it has established an impressive agroforestry project, right there in the middle of an urban centre - Lira Municipality in Lira District in Lango Sub-Region in Northern Uganda.
CPAR is growing vegetables – boo, malakany, buga, alodi, amola, kal, and pot okono; at the same time it is doing seed multiplication for those vegetables of the Nilotics cuisine.
CPAR is growing a variety of trees including those that produce edible fruit- such as mangoes (local and exotic), oranges (local and exotic), passion fruit, papaw, avocado, bananas and lemon.
Appreciating the good work of CPAR as demonstrated by its Lira Agroforestry project, Operation Wealth Creation, trusted one of CPAR’s staff members, Mrs. Rose Aceng Okello, Finance and Administrative Officer, who is also a farmer and is responsible for the practical establishment and maintenance of the CPAR agroforestry project, as among the recipients of fruit tree seedlings that it distributed to farmers in September 2016.
Rose reported to CPAR that she had received from OWC a total of 100 fruit tree seedlings – 50 of citrus (oranges) and 50 of mangoes of the exotic kind. Some of the oranges Rose plans to plant at the CPAR Headquarters and the remaining oranges and mango seedlings she plans to plant at the CPAR Loro Base Camp in Oyam – on land that CPAR has accessed to its staff to utilise and maintain for agroforestry.
This is how it should be, when OWC successfully identifies and partners with model farmers, such as Rose, and moreover who have the backing of institutions such as CPAR that are promoting farming for nutrition and for income generation. The tree seedlings that Rose received are most definitely going to positively benefit hundreds, in terms of access to knowledge; knowledge transfer through free practical extension services – observation of best practices.
Other trees growing at the CPAR Headquarters are for shed, bird nests, soil regeneration and fencing. CPAR is also growing other high value crops, such as pineapple, pumpkin, beans and ginger, at its Lira Headquarters.
There is no doubt that CPAR has successfully turned the grounds of its Headquarters from being a cost centre into an income generation and a human nutrition centre. The harvest from the food crops grown in the grounds of the CPAR Headquarters are part consumed and part sold by its staff members.
In exchange, CPAR participating staff members offer their labour and expertise free to maintain CPAR’s grounds – keeping them aesthetically fabulous and environmentally healthy. This the participating staff members do during their ‘free’ time and outside of their contracted work hours with CPAR.
Training, extension services, and knowledge transfer occur in different forms. CPAR appreciates that one of the most powerful forms of knowledge transfer, of extension services provision and of training is through practical demonstration. Hence, CPAR is practicing what it preaches, so to speak.
CPAR is freely showing others how to use limited spaces for agroforestry, including spaces in urban centres. It is promoting the view that there is no need to continue the costly colonial legacy of establishing and maintaining ‘manicured-grass-lawns-and-non-edible-beautiful-flowers –for-the –governor’ mentality.
A Dictionary definition of agroforestry is that it is:
“a method and system of land management involving the simultaneous cultivation of farm crops and trees; agriculture incorporating the growing of trees.”
CPAR agrees with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations that:
“Agroforestry systems are multifunctional systems that can provide a wide range of economic, socio-cultural, and environmental benefits.”
The benefits of agroforestry are practically manifest at the CPAR Headquarters. Many visitors to the CPAR Headquarters have indeed benefited freely from its knowledge. In awe, they have thanked and congratulated CPAR for such brilliant, simple and easy to replicate ideas that if implemented are of significant positive impact.
Many of the visitors to the CPAR Headquarters have categorically informed CPAR that they are going to replicate, at their homes at least, the agricultural technologies that are demonstrated in the grounds of the CPAR Headquarters.
CPAR is now ready to reach out to the Agricultural Production Officer of the Lira District Local Government (Lira DLG) in order to explore ways in which it can work in partnership with Lira DLG, in order to roll out its Lira Agroforestry Project and to promote it in the entire district, through establishment and maintenance of demonstrations at Lira DLG properties at all levels.
In the meantime, if you are in Lira Municipality, please feel free to visit with us. The CPAR Headquarters is located at Plot 5 Makerere Road, right opposite the Lira DLG Headquarters and the Lira Hotel. Our neighbours include the Lira Golf Course.
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