Ugandan Agriculture: Man creates box garden to help urban farmers in cultivating
In Uganda, one man has found a creative solution to improve household incomes in urban areas. He's created a farm in a box. It's designed to help urban farmers to plant fruit and vegetables in any small space -- like walkways or verandahs -- for themselves or to sell. Isabel Nakirya reports.
Farming box garden in the capital Kampala. Paul Matovu designed this wooden farm to help households with little space for large-scale farming.
PAUL MATOVU BOX GARDEN DESIGNER "We put the first tray and add soil then place the second tray, we just keep stacking trays together, we can even make it five feet or ten feet high but cognizant that the user must be able to use it, it should be at a height where the user can access it."
The box farm contains a chamber in the middle where organic fertilizer is applied to boost yields.
ISABEL NAKIRYA KAMPALA, UGANDA "Up to 200 plants can be grown in this these stacked trays of wood. Planting spots are left on each of the trays and a farmer is able to harvest enough vegetables for home consumption from this garden in a box."
Matovu comes from a farming family but when he moved to the city, he had nowhere to grow crops, so he came up with the box farming idea.
PAUL MATOVU BOX GARDEN DESIGNER "The land was very small, every time we tried growing crops in sacks but they would get washed away by the rains and so we started using boxes, playing around with boxes and that's when we came up with this kind of box."
Matovu has sold his box farms to about 65 people in Kampala. Many of them, stay-home mothers. Each box farm goes for about $200. Doreen Atukunda says her box farm is her market and source of income.
DOREEN ATUKUNDA URBAN FARMER "I started with Sukuma wiki, I would harvest and it was too much, I even started selling to the neighbors, you know when you have many neighbors and they keep asking but I told them, no I'm selling, so I would pluck like 7 leaves and sell for 500 shillings, so I would eat some and sell the rest."
Kampala's population has increased significantly in recent years, more than 20% in the last 3 years reducing space for farming. Matovu hopes to craft out more space-saving farms to suit both low income and high-income urban farmers so they can be able to earn sustainable income. Isabel Nakirya, CGTN, Kampala Uganda.