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news | January 30, 2015 | Kenya | Uganda | Development

Veronica's story: From no experience to successful farmer and businesswoman

The majority of people living in rural areas of North Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya rely on livestock or farming to survive. Often described as “schools without walls”, Agro-Pastoralist Field Schools are places where local communities can learn new skills through practical methodologies. To support communities and their traditional livelihoods, ACTED teams provided innovative agricultural training in 12 Agro-Pastoralist Field Schools, with the support of the FAO. To encourage experimentation and practice in modern methods of farming, our teams also gave small grants to each group.

A hard-working member of the community

Veronica belongs to one of the groups. She was selected by her community in Uganda in 2011 to join the group, because of her eagerness to participate and her reputation as a hard-working member of the community. Before the trainings, she had never planted or cultivated crops before. During the training Veronica learnt pastoralist and agronomic skills. She also went on a learning visit to Kenya where she exchanged skills with another Field School.

Helping others to achieve the same level of success

Since the training, Veronica has harvested 20 bags of maize, cultivated over 2 acres of land, and 12 bags of ground nuts (similar to peanuts). She has also learnt business skills like waiting for shortages in the market to sell her produce for a higher price. Veronica also grows crops in her back garden to diversify her own diet. She regularly shares her experiences with the group, and supports other members in achieving the same successes that she has.