Alison Hall founded Seeds for Development after attending a conference in northern Uganda and learning about the plight of farmers in Uganda when their crop fails. To begin with we lent farmers seeds and over the years have developed a more holistic community development approach.
We work with six remote farming communities near Gulu and Kitgum in northern Uganda.
For a farmer to farm he/she needs seeds and to get seeds you need money. That's where the story began and ended for thousands of farmers in the post conflict area of northern Uganda.
Reluctant to give the farmers handouts, we devised a way that farmers could borrow seeds and repay the financial value when they could - a bit like micro-finance with seeds. The farmers receive enough seed for one acre of land (normally about 10kgs of maize) and they grow them together with the other farmers in their group.
Once harvested, they come together and collectively sell the crops at a much higher price than if they were selling as individuals. As the years went by we started to support the farmers with longer term crops such as pineapples and today we are working on an exciting project to grow coffee on a commercial scale. To reach as many farmers as possible, we worked for a while in partnership with Send a Cow Uganda who faced the challenge that when farmers graduated from their 3 year programme they were still subsistence farmers and not generating an income. Our model has been so successful that they have now introduced economical empowerment into their programmes.
Whilst we were very pleased to have supported over 3,000 farming families move towards financial self-sustainability, we realised that we were losing our personal connection with the farmers.
So in 2014 we made the decision to focus our efforts on six communities and become more involved with their lives.
Our projects are bigger and more ambitious and will benefit the whole population.
Meet The Team
We are a small team that packs a big punch!
In the UK, Alison and Penny both have full time jobs and run Seeds for Development in their spare time and Sue tirelessly promotes our work and raises funds.
We take care of everything ourselves and have no overheads, meaning 100% of donations go to our projects in Uganda.
In Uganda, our projects are split by location.
In the villages near Gulu we have a wonderful team of community volunteers who are co-ordinated by our Project Manager Pamela
In the 3 villages near Kitgum, we work in partnership with Forgotten People's Projects (FPP).
FPP runs the three nursery schools we support and help and guide us with the education programmes in Gulu and Amuru. We support farming and enterprise projects in the villages.
We are supported by some amazing experts on the ground in Uganda.
Susan Wamala is an outstanding head teacher! Voted as one of the top 40 influential people in primary education in Uganda we are so grateful and proud that she supports us with our education projects.
Timothy Njakasi has been voted one of the top 50 farmers in Uganda! He runs an organic agricultural training centre where he trains farmers from all over Uganda and neighbouring countries as well as volunteers from the UK and USA.
Elly Nkalubo takes great care of us during our visits. Elly is the Local Village Councillor in Mukono, making him the most important person in his community and a wonderful source of knowledge and expertise on community relations.