“In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”
Any farmer knows that it takes patience and faith to plant and wait for a harvest. At the New Hope Uganda Enterprise Farm, this is just as true as anywhere else. The Enterprise Farm exists to help support the ministry as part of the vision of increasing self-sustainability.
Over the years, different plans have been implemented based on the various goals of the people running the farm. Currently, the main focus of the Enterprise Farm is on dairy production. The herd of cows presently has 13 females plus one male that will be used for meat.
However, last year’s drought affected the cows, causing their milk to dry up. One of the females has recently started milking again a little bit, and a couple of the other cows are expecting calves soon so they will also start milking.
The very dry weather also impacted the forestry efforts at the farm. Short-term teams had planted 300 musizi trees, but only 30 of them survived the drought even though the staff tried to help by watering them.
This year the goal is to try forestry again by planting eucalyptus trees, said Kiweewa Christopher, the Enterprise Farm Manager. He plans to plant four acres with 4,000 trees. Eucalyptus trees have the benefit of being more resistant to dry conditions.
The downside of eucalyptus trees is that they are very susceptible to termites. So in preparation, Kiweewa has been poisoning many of the termite mounds in the surrounding land. A team this month also helped fence the area to help protect the trees from grazing cows.
Another goal for Kiweewa is to continue increasing the quality and total milk production of the farm’s dairy herd. Currently, the cows are relatively low producers. Kiweewa plans to gradually improve the herd by careful breeding.
Kiweewa also plans to plant maize for sileage, for fodder to feed the cows during the dry season, on some of the farm’s 30+ acres of land. The farm had done this before, but with the good rainy seasons of previous years the staff hadn’t made it a priority because there was plenty of grass for grazing. In last year’s drought, the cows struggled to find enough to eat, and so Kiweewa wants to make sure he has this backup plan on reserve.
There is also a collection of mango and lemon trees at the farm, the produce from which is sold for income. Kiweewa would like to plant more mango trees, because they don’t require a lot of investment to maintain them.
A major income producer has been the farm’s tractor, which has been here since at least 2010. The farm uses it for plowing its own land, but also rents it out to people in the surrounding community. Last year, a used disc plow attachment was purchased to replace the tractor’s older smaller one.
Kiweewa is one of our sons who grew up in David Family! He started working at the farm full time in July 2016 after finishing his diploma course in animal production.
Please continue praying that this year’s rains provide enough water to sustain the growth of crops!