An important activity in ERI is organizing Farmer Field Days together with implementing farmer groups. Those events give farmers a chance to showcase their achievements, such as field experiments, market innovations, practices for sustainable agriculture or food security, to fellow farmers and other stakeholders. Farmer Field Days are typically hosted by farmers themselves with some assistance from organizations in the ERI projects. The host farmers share information and farming practices with participants and engage in discussions to learn from each other. Two of HORIZONT3000’s partner organizations in the ERI East Africa Project, Safe Neighborhood Foundation (SNF) and Caritas MADDO, have organized Farmer Field Days recently.
SNF’s Farmer Field Day on 27th September 2014 was hosted by the Nabikeeto Baligeyelaeyo farmers group at the home of Mr. Andrew Mukatabala and 31 farmer groups from five sub counties of Budaka district (Budaka town council, Budaka rural, Nansanga, Nabo and Lyama) participated. The theme of the day was ‘Sustainable Agricultural Practices’ and the following objectives were covered:
- To identify the major challenges farmers face in production, marketing and nutrition
- To learn the good practices of the host farmer group
- To generate a plenary discussion and find solutions to the challenges in objective one
In addition to activities on the field, a drama show was organized by a group affiliated to SNF to drive home messages on VSLA, gender, group saving, group marketing and the sustainable agriculture.
Caritas MADDO’s Farmer Field Day was held on 25th September 2014. It was hosted by farmers of Kifamunya A in Nabigasa Sub County, Kasambya village at the home of Mr. Ssalongo Ssentamu. The event was attended by 350 farmers from within and other neighbouring villages that are not necessarily participating in the ERI project. It was an event of showcasing new knowledge and innovations based on ERI trainings. Officials from Rakai district local government also attended the event and appreciated the efforts of Caritas MADDO in partnership with HORIZONT3000 in building the capacity of farmers towards smart agriculture. Host farmers explained the ERI approach through demonstrating practical areas of implementation. The following objectives were covered:
- To learn from the successes and good practices of other farmers
- To get new ideas and new solutions to production, marketing and consumption challenges
- To discuss these ideas with other farmers and stakeholders