The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) has started supplying farmers in Kikuube district with agricultural inputs that are not eaten by vermin and other wildlife under their umbrella Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLAs).
The initiative follows a survey that was conducted by the organization last year which found that farmers who were engaged in growing crops like maize, beans, cassava, and sweet potato regularly suffered losses due to the destruction of their gardens by baboons, chimpanzees, and other wild animals.
The beneficiaries are farmers adjacent to Bugoma forest reserve and Itoya forest in Kiziranfumbi and Kabwoya sub-counties respectively.
Bulimya Community for Wildlife and Environmental Conservation VSLA, Muteme Parish Human-Wildlife Conflict Village Saving and Loans Associations, Kaseta community development VSLA and Bumbogo parish human wild conflict VSLA are some of the farmer groups that have benefited from the initiative.
Speaking to theCooperator on Monday, Jenifer Atuhairwe, the Hoima district field officer for CSWCT said that they have so far supplied over 750 bags of Irish potato seeds and 280 tins of onion seeds to four associations comprised of 640 farmers.
Atuhairwe noted that each farmer will receive three bags of Irish potato and four tins of onion seeds, to be refunded upon harvest so as to benefit the farmers who missed out this season.
She says the initiative is aimed at helping farmers to improve their household incomes and fight poverty.
“We did research last year and found out from farmers that vermin don’t eat Irish potato, ginger, and onion; so we providing these seeds as alternatives to help these farmers who have been suffering from wild animals and vermin whenever they would grow beans, maize, peanuts, and cassava,” said Atuhairwe.
Juliet Kyokuhaire and Josam Kyamanya, some of the beneficiaries, commended CSWCT for the seeds saying that some had abandoned farming because of the vermin destroying their gardens.
They said that such challenges had led to an increase in a human-wildlife conflict that had resulted in the death or injury of several farmers as they tried to guard their gardens.
“Whatever we cultivated would get destroyed by Chimpanzees and baboons and we had lost hope because we have no other sources of income apart from farming,” the duo said.
CSWCT is a non-governmental organization promoting conservation of chimpanzees and their habitats. They operate in Kibaale, Hoima, and Kikuube districts in Bunyoro sub-region.
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