When people hear the name Seed Effect, they often assume it is an agricultural organization. For years, we’ve explained that it’s a metaphor for the economic and spiritual impact we’re making in the lives of our members. But now, that’s all changing as Seed Effect is growing our investment in agricultural training for our members!

In 2020, during COVID-19, supply chains shut down and food was unavailable in the refugee settlements. The Government of Uganda made a desperate plea for humanitarian organizations to provide food assistance. Rather than giving food handouts, Seed Effect started providing, you guessed it, seeds! 

What was intended as a short-term intervention stuck. Seed Effect has incorporated seed distribution and agriculture training into our 2nd cycle groups for the last three years as the majority of our members are subsistence farmers. Many take loans from their groups to rent land, pay labor, or buy inputs for agriculture. For some, our agricultural program supports household gardens for greater food security. For others, it is also a way to cultivate more land and generate a profit from the sale of their crops.

Click here to read more about why agriculture is so important in these communities. 

While our agriculture program has become integral to Seed Effect’s model, our current program has led to challenges in implementation. An escalating budget for seeds and missed targets have caused Seed Effect to refine the current approach and test a new model to make more of an impact. 

At Seed Effect, we are always looking for ways to improve, so we are piloting an innovation to improve yield, impact, and outcomes in partnership with Equipping Farmers International (EFI). In March, EFI trained the Seed Effect staff of Kiryandongo, our newest branch, on conservation agriculture, also called Farming God’s Way. The model mimics the natural processes that we see in nature and promotes the restoration of man’s relationship with creation, one of the four key relationships that we teach in our bible studies. It is radically different from conventional agricultural practices in Uganda. The team learned these new concepts by building demonstration gardens at a nearby church using concepts like no tilling, composting, mulching, and crop rotation. Once our staff learned that they can generate far greater yields with less work and less expense, they were quick converts. 

Next, they will be establishing demonstration gardens in the communities we serve and training members from 40 groups in 2024 in this improved approach to farming. In a few short months, we expect to see thriving household gardens full of vegetables and fields filled with healthy crops.  It is exciting to be building a “Seed Effect” that requires no explanation. 

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