In Sub-Saharan Africa, women like Juliyana Kabugho have to be true multi-talents. While they are usually in charge of their children’s upbringing and the wellbeing of their families, they also take care of planting and harvesting cotton. Many tasks that demand a lot of energy. This is where Cotton made in Africa comes in and offers support. For instance, through agricultural trainings that are adapted especially to female farmers’ needs. “Due to my cooperation with CmiA, I have gained knowledge on good agricultural practices”, Juliyana rejoices. For her, this has meant considerable improvements: “My cotton yield has increased from 200 to 500 kgs per acre”, she tells us.
Through the CmiA-trainings, participating farmers can continuously and sustainably improve their cotton growing skills. This allows them to cultivate their fields in a manner that is protecting both the people and the environment, which can ultimately allow farmers to gain higher crop yields and ameliorate their living conditions. This is also what Juliyana Kabugho experienced.
In the trainings, Juliyana has learned everything about the principles of good agricultural practices – including, amongst others, how to efficiently use fertilizers and how to create bio-fertilisers. As the CmiA Standard excludes artificial irrigation, Juliyana solely uses rainwater to grow her cotton. The precise methods of this so-called rainfed irrigation are also taught in the farmer trainings. This way, Juliyana now knows how to successfully farm her field and generate good yields without using artificial irrigation.
On top of that, the female farmer from Uganda has learned that pesticides are bad for both humans and the environment – and that the CmiA-criteria, if at all, only allow the use of particular pesticides under strict constrictions. She now knows why it is so important that pregnant or nursing women keep their distance from pesticides. And that it is vital to handle pesticides professionally and only whilst wearing protective clothing to protect the farmers’ health. Juliyana can also increasingly forego the use of artificial pesticides, having learned how to correctly determine the necessity for spraying and the use of organic alternatives.
Thanks to participating in the Cotton made in Africa program and the corresponding agricultural trainings, Juliyana Kabugho has altered her cultivation methods considerably. She now farms her cotton fields more sustainably and with regard to ecologic, economic and social aspects. This way, she could more than double her cotton yields and improve her living conditions, by herself. “I am happy that last season I earned enough money by selling my cotton, so that I could start building a house”, reports Juliyana.