Research succesful Income Generating Activities

Status: In progress
Time needed: 
Two hours

To help us decide upon activities to start in Kawempe, we would like to find out what Income Generating Activities are working in other communities. We are considering poultry farming and starting a brass band, but are interested in hearing other ideas from our Neighbours.

Wrokshops: USA - TX, MS, FL [ECHO], CA, AR, NM; Mexico, Rep. Dominicana, Côté d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Honduras,
Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Haiti, England, India, Uzbekistan, South Africa [2011], Indonesia [2012],
Workshops in organic, no-till, permanent bed gardening, mini-farming and mini-livestock farming,
using bucket drip irrigation, worldwide, in English & Español

Organic, No-till Farming

The solution to world hunger is teaching the farmers to farm profitably. There is a grassroots movement, around the world, for families and groups to produce their own food due to cost, flavor and chemical contamination. "There's this belief that in order to stop poverty, we have to find ways to get people to stop being farmers. What we need to do is find ways to stop them from being poor farmers." Amy Smith, MIT There is unlimited, documented proof.
These are based on the internet, experiences teaching agriculture in many countries, research data and farmer experiences in those countries and a demonstration garden. They are ecologically sustainable, environmentally responsible, socially just and economically viable.
Poor, unhealthy soil is the reason for low yields. Here is the solution. Organic No-Till is not a fixed set of rules but a method that gardeners/farmers adapt to their local conditions. No one plows the jungle and it produces; no one plows the forest and it produces.
Organic, no-till farming, in permanent beds, with permanent paths, using only a machete/corn knife, doubles or triples yields compared to traditional farming, reduces labor 50% to 75%, reduces inputs-expenses to nearly 0 [buy only seed for new crops, green manure/cover crops], increases fertility, stops soil erosion [no rain water runoff], eliminates most weed, disease and insect problems and greatly increases profits if marketing. Use DIY drip or DIY bucket drip irrigation [made by farmer] to produce during the dry season and in areas of low rainfall.
SRI – system of rice intensification: 50%-100% increased yield, up to 90% reduction in required seed, up to 50% savings in water. SRI principles and practices have been adapted for rain-fed rice.
SCI – system of crop intensification: wheat, sugarcane, millet, maize and teff with yield increases.

With no-till, organic matter [green manure/cover crops or weeds or crop residue] generates the following results:
 The mulch gradually rots into the soil providing a constant supply of nutrients while eliminating composting.
 Moisture retention due to the mulch layer means reduced need for watering; saving both resources and labor.
 Mulch prevents weeds from growing, reducing another laborious chore.
 Because of greater nutrients, plants can be positioned twice as densely as normally recommended.
 The combination of denser spacing and healthy soil means a fourfold increase in yield. Josef Graf

These practices stopped the migration of farm families to the cities. [Honduras]. There are 262,000,000 acres in no-till and 85,000,000 acres organic, worldwide.

Fukaoka Farm, Japan, has been organic, no-till [rice, small grains, vegetables] for 70 years. At the time of my visits the following were organic, no-till: an Indian farmer [vegetables] for 5 years, a Malawi farmer [vegetables] on permanent beds for 25 years [model mini-farm] and a Honduras farmer [vegetables & fruit] on permanent beds on the contour (73° slope] for 8 years. Ruth Stout [USA] had a garden for 30 years and 7,000 people visited her garden. I have been on farms where the farmer, alone, farms 10 acres [4 hectares], using only a machete/corn knife.
No technique yet devised by man has been anywhere near as effective at halting soil erosion and making food production truly sustainable as 0-tillage (Baker)

1. Financial: Little funds are needed. No tractor, no equipment, no fertilizers, no chemicals.
2. Inter-urban, urban, peri-urban [use land free?]
3. Restore the soil to its natural health. Contaminations: inorganic pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers
4. Maintain healthy soil: Healthy soil produces healthy plants, for high yields.
5. Feed the soil; not the crop: Inorganics feed the plants and poisons the soil. Organics feed the soil which feeds the plants.
6. Increase soil organic matter every year
7. Soil always covered Weeds are Nature’s soil cover.
8. Feed the soil through the mulch.
9. Use green manure/cover crops.
10. Manure-animal and human []
11. Intercropping and/or crop rotation
12. Use external organic matter [leaves, etc]
13. Leave all crop residues on top of the soil.
14. No-till - no digging, no tilling, no cultivating Worms and roots till the soil.
15. Permanent beds
16. Permanent paths
17. Sloped land: permanent beds on the contour. On steep slope each bed is dropped down the slope [email for instructions]. No alley cropping, no swales, no pit beds, no key-hole beds.
18. Hand tools: machete/corn knife, planting hoe, etc
19. All year production: DIY hoop houses, high tunnels, shade cloth, row covers, etc.
20. Organic pesticides, herbicides if ever needed
21. Do not buy anything except seed
22. Seed - Open-pollinated
23. Tree crops: fruit, coffee [shaded], nuts,. Perennial cover crop.
24. Crops: vegetables, fruits, nuts, fibers, gourds, oils, flowers, herbs, grains
25. Muscovies [eats flies, mosquitos: no housing, etc. In every country]
26. Gray water – use for irrigation
27. Bucket drip irrigation should be used during the dry season and in areas of low rainfall: A bucket drip line can be made locally using poly tubing [US$3, Nicaragua]. One, 33 meters, will irrigate a row of crops using only 20 liters of water per day. A drip line can be moved to irrigate several rows per day. Water can be from a stream, pond or well. A drip kit returns US$20 per month to the farmer [FAO study].
28. Markets: farm stand, cooperative, farmer’s market
29. Imitate nature. Most farmers fight nature. ¡Nature always wins!

Farmers using tractors, email for information.

I volunteer my time to teach workshops, worldwide, in English or Spanish, when all expenses are paid. Scheduled: Ft Worth TX; Liberia, Nov

Ken Hargesheimer,

Free farming dvd on request

Home: Every family needs a garden/farm to produce food.

School: Organic, no-till farming should be taught in every school. Provides food for the students and provides vocational training. Email for information.
"Plowing the land over and over damages the soil almost as much as chemical weed killers do. It kills off nitrogen-fixing bacteria." Onmivore's Dilemma
“No one has ever advanced a scientific reason for plowing. It can be said with truth that the use of the plow has actually destroyed the productiveness of our soils.” Edward Faulkner
Plow to kill the weeds; that brings to the surface more seeds to sprout; more weeds to plow up.

Dear Ken,
Thank you for all the info. I am applying it in my own vegetable patch. It is working. Got half a pocket of potatoes off a square metre. So would imagine about 10 pounds per square yard. This off previously dead low, carbon soil. Sure next crop will be better. Got yams coming up on same spot already. Want to plant herbs and spices. Your advise is so simple. People do not believe me when I tell them. I am so excited about growing things now. This coming from a commercial plum farmer. Jeremy Karsen, South Africa

We have already started several gardens in Jinkfuin community and the people working on them have benefitted from the DVDS we received from Ken. We watched the DVDs and got so many lessons and there women and men already running gardens, good ones! Lia, Kimilili

I confirm Ken's advice. I've been using mulch and no-till since the late sixties. It works. It really works. I now manage a 5,000 ft² community garden in its fifth season. It started on hard clay with turf grass using cardboard and mulch. Leaves are added to the beds every fall and it has never been tilled. It's a beautiful, fruitful garden. I have friends who have sand and advised them to do the same. They've been very successful as well. It will work anywhere. Judith Hainaut

Uganda: We have been working on improving farming techniques for almost a year. Unfortunately, the farmers are planting small plots of land that only feed their family. There is no other choice but to try new techniques to improve the output of their plot. Ken Hargesheimer suggested the "no till" farming techniques as well as the "drip system". Both have proven effective at increasing production by at least 5 fold. The time is now for Kyomya to become a model agricultural village. []

Ken has instructed us that by introducing cover crops we will improve the organic nature of the soil. This involves less work than the previous method and has resulted in double the yield from crops where this method has been implemented.’ Busukuma,

Mini-Stock Farming
Farmers must produce high quality feed/forages for the livestock for high production. Never feed straw to animals; it has no food value.

1. Milk, meat, egg, fiber production
2. Manage legumes, grasses, grains for the least cost per ton/acre; not highest yield per hectare.
3. Manage livestock for lowest cost per kilo; not the highest number of kilos.
4. Manage dairies for lowest cost of production; not the highest level of production.
5. Legume & grass fed
6. Straw for bedding
7. Free range
8. Pens; no cages
9. Moveable pens over beds [small animals]
10. All bedding & manure recycled on the soil
11. 12 month of grazing [as possible]
12. Cut and carry forage to pens
13. Hay [hand baler] and/or silage [bags]
14. Legume & grass forages
15. Perennial and annual forages
16. Permanent pastures
17. Rotational grazing
18. Seasonal dairying
19. Holistic animal health care
20. Keep males
21. Buy breeding service
22. Artificial insemination
23. Misc: bees
24. Miniature animals: donkeys, goats, cattle , horses, sheep, bantams, llamas, alpacas
25. Small animals: Muscovies [eggs, meat], goats [meat, milk, hair], chickens, peacocks, ducks, geese, rabbits, sheep [meat, wool, milk], hogs, turkeys, guineas, guineafowl
26. Large animals: beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, yaks, buffalo, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, ostriches, zebu, water buffalo, camel


As previously mentioned, a project is being started in a remote part of Togo by Dr Noar. Below is his view of how best DIY Solar can be used there. I'm amazed that no-one else has considered using this in schools where it has such great potential!

We believe the DIY Solar Kit is the ideal item to empower the youth, we see great potential in it and a possible partnership with the International Youth Foundation. It could be the perfect learning kit for school aged children to build and get familiar with basics of electricity and solar energy. Not only for kids there, but also for kids here, who could then send the kits in Togo. Put is a plastic tube it turns easily into a flashlight and could simplify the lives of hundreds of children. Most of them have no mean to read at night or do their homework, and simply 3 LEDs provide enough light to study all night. As the kit can also power a calculator or a radio, it has multiple uses, is cheap, and quite easy to build if the panel and the battery are already wired. We hope to spread what you've invented, because we see great potential in teaching the youth how to build the DIY solar kits, and empower kids for a better future.

We are looking forward to bringing those with us in Togo and will surely send you pictures and keep you updated on how it will be used!

graham knight,


Thanks Ken!

Mawanda Rob has found that he can rent an acre of land for a very reasonable price, so we definitely would like to go ahead with this. I will send you a mailing address. Thanks very much for your help!



Hi Joanne;

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you, but I do really appreciate your input. I think you are right about having more than one project to generate meaningful income and it will be great to be able to start up a few projects in the long term. For the goats, we were thinking of something similar to the "One Goat Per Child" programs of other villages where the goats could be purchased a few at a time and given out to families. I think I will have to look into poultry a bit further to figure out how to make it work! Anyway, we will definitely listen to your advise and see what we can do.

All my best;


If he will email me his postal address I will mail him some dvds.

Hi, my Mobile is 0775192315 or 0702192315

Hey CATHY, You are really on the right thing to creat a bussiness
in those ends of kawempe.To me all that I think can do better in
Kawempe, if possible poultry keeping can do very very well.
How do you see that Cathy.Any way thanks alot for the efforts you
are going to start, its really Good.
Nyombi Enock


Hi Cathy, goats are a good idea but they take long to get a return, while if layers were considered, eggs would be supplied and off layers sold off. broilers bring in a quick income every couple months. Depending on the start up capital you have, i think you should do both inorder to generate a meaningful income to support other projects. Is there already pasture for the goats, for Kawempe is pretty urban, all involved should spare abit of land for napier grass / elephant grass to feed the goats when peels arent available. or otherwise, buy a few like 100 chickens and hatch the eggs so that the poultry project can start bringing in income when you have a large number of chickens. Also invest time in culturing alternative feeds for the chicken so that you reduce on the cost of feeding like duckweed & worms.
Yours in Service
JIS Birungi


Hi Diana;

Thanks for your input - that is definitely an issue with pigs in many areas. We are actually planning on goats rather than poultry as they seem to be more cost-effective and disease resistant. If you have any thoughts on goats vs. poultry in the area, I'd love to hear more. We are also planning a brass band and vegetable growing, so any input you have on either is more than welcome.

All the best;



Hullo Cathy,
I dont think the pigs will work in Kawempe. The village is dominated by Moslems it will be very hard for them to allow do it. Its best u do poultry trust me l live their so i know.

Am very willing to help in any way that i can. Making friends is also priority.


Hello again Ken!

I just wanted to let you know that Mawanda Rob has read about your vegetable growing methods and is very interested. He is looking for land to rent in the area, as they do not have any at the moment, and then they can get started. Thanks again for your suggestion!



Hi Ken;

Thanks so much for your input - I have read about your no-till farming in other villages and find it very interesting. Your offer to send seeds is very much appreciated! I'm not sure that very much land is available as Kawempe is fairly urban, but I will find out from the LR if there is any they can use and will get back to you.

All the best;



Ginger is right about pigs and chickens eating the same food as humans which makes feeding them expensive unless you can grow their feed. Goats eat grass, etc and need little grain if given excellant forage. Milk goats need more grain.

Brick making would be good if you use soil-cement. Purchase a soil/cement brick press [Cinvaram]. You use subsoil onsite and 6% to 10% cement in the mix, high pressure forms the bick. Excellant building material.

Vegetable growing and selling is the first choice if land is available. Use organic, no-till in permanent beds with bucket drip irrigation as needed. After starting with traditional crops, I would send a few seed for new crops: spaghetti squash, baby maize [eat cob and all], sweet maize, endamame soybeans [for humans]. Stevia is a plant used like sugar. Very sweet. Irrigation during the dry season allows the selling of vegetables when others do not have any and the price is high. One must be willing to carry the water. Glad to help in the future.



Hi Virginia;

Thanks for your insights - I have read about your "one goat per child" program and it sounds like a good idea and I will definitely ask the local rep to consider it. I had also read about the disease issues with chickens and pigs they are having in some villages - do you know if goats are any less prone to illness?
Regarding the local contacts, yes I have suggested that Mawanda Rob contact the other local reps to network a bit, and I gave him a few names of those who seem to be working on similar projects. I also see that Pelle and Stanley Okurut are trying to set up a Ugandan Reps group, so it will be great if all the reps can share their knowledge there.

Thanks for your help!
All the best;


Hi Cecilia;

Thanks for the link, unfortunately none of the shop categories seemed to be working when I checked it, so I couldn't see what they are selling! I will try again later. I can certainly see the potential for income from handicrafts, but my concern is that the costs of shipping them worldwide would be prohibitive unless you could find someone who would buy them in bulk and then sell them. Have you found that to be a problem at all?



Cathy - I checked out the site - very interesting, but I do not see where they give classes to Teach the women these trades! And, in the villages I have worked with around the Jinja area, everyone is trying to raise chickens, pigs and goats; by the way, pigs are Very expensive for the first year and a half because the feeding is very expensive - it is only money going out - nothing coming in! Chickens are easier to deal with. Piggeries are ok if you have access to a local town and restaurant where food is thrown out! Otherwise, if you do not have a farm that can feed the pig (and most farmers need to eat the grain themselves) then you will have to pay about $20 per month per pig for food. That's pretty steep! Last year I started a "One Goat Per Child" program in hopes of raising enough money to provide 20-30 goats per village, and when the goats have babies, they will be shared with other school children. The idea is that one goat can actually provide 10 years of education for a child - by selling one off each year, they can pay their school fees, which are about $30 per year - the price of a goat.
Have you asked anyone locally to get in touch with them in Kampala?