TAO has developed an effective approach to establish self-sustaining farming. Based in the UK, TAO generates funding for projects and provides the direction, expertise, project and financial management and oversight to ensure that local partners deliver highly successful projects.
Our local Partners work closely with the project communities to ensure their complete involvement and ownership, to develop their capacity to create and sustain farming ventures, and to raise their awareness of related land rights, health and hygiene, and environmental issues.
Learn more on Why Uganda? about our work to date has focused on Uganda and the particular problems in northern Uganda.
Establishing sustainable farming
TAO works with the small land-holders who make up 80% of Africa’s rural people. Most have less than one hectare of land, which due to poor husbandry suffers poor fertility and stunted crops.
By working closely with communities across a district, TAO’s partners’ field workers identify individuals keen to put in the hard work required to create sustainable farms. The selected participants are trained in farming techniques, such as using animal and plant waste to fertilise crops, irrigating crops, grafting trees to grow seedlings, rearing goats, and/or looking after bees and making honey and beeswax.
The participants are then provided with seeds, livestock and/or bee-hives. As they develop their farms the field workers help them to address issues, establish networks and contacts, and take advice from the local agricultural experts. Increasingly, they also help them gain access to commercial markets.
TAO’s experts visit periodically to monitor and identify ways the work can be improved, or resolve problems that have arisen. The latter may lead TAO to seek additional funding, e.g. to construct a water tank or acquire oxen and ploughs.
Improving land rights, health & environmental awareness
While working with communities, TAO’s partners’ field workers help families secure access to land and raise awareness of health, sanitation, hygiene and dietary, and environmental matters.
Often widows and children are deprived of their right to land, especially in northern Uganda where so many people have been displaced. In these situations an important first task is to help them to negotiate their land title by training locals as Community Legal Aid Providers to facilitate mediation of cases.
To ensure that orphans have a good diet, health and future prospects, our projects typically include education to raise carers’ understanding of:
- Good hygiene practices, especially in sanitation, food, maintaining clean water, and caring for animals.
- The importance of good diet for health – especially for those who are HIV+.
- Environmental management, such as avoiding deforestation, managing scarce water resources, composting organically and managing water run off to control soil erosion
Where possible, we also reinforce the work being done by other organisations to avoid the spread of infectious and sexually-transmitted diseases.
To avoid duplication, rather than providing healthcare services directly, TAO and our partners seek to ensure that communities develop relationships with providers working in the area.