Some weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread around the world, we meet Simon. He is a young farmer from Mityana, Uganda. We wanted to tell you about his daily life through his own eyes. While we finalized the story, the novel Coronavirus also came to Uganda. We catched up with him to see how he is and how he copes with the situation. Uganda is under strict movement restrictions, a nightly curfew, and most stores are closed.
Mityana is about two hours drive from the capital Kampala. Simon is continuing his daily agricultural activities in his farm according to the crop cycle. But his business of offering agricultural services to other farmers in the community has unfortunately been affected. He and two of his peers had been given a contract by a school in Mityana District to plant two acres of a Coffee Demonstration Plot. Now they were asked to postpone the job until the situation normalizes.
Rural road in Mityana District
Contact with ICP field officers is made through phone calls, WhatsApp and Facebook. Simon can only support the establishment of Demonstration Plots of the farmers who he supports over the phone.
Daily life in Mityana is affected as well. Shopping essentials like food is still possible, but there is fear that some necessities in the villages like soap, toothpaste, fuel, paraffin, salt, sugar etc. might run out and there is no transport for traders to travel from the villages to Kampala to restock due to the shut down. People hope, that there will be a solution to this situation.
Simon is positive to master this situation
Despite all uncertainties, Simon is positive that he and the community will master this situation. Access to clean water remains a challenge in the villages but wells are still operational. And Simon as well as other ICP-Beneficiaries can now harvest what they learned during the project: Diversification.
“Food security is not a challenge in the villages as the farmers grow various crops and the season has been good. Thanks to ICP, advising farmers to also grow other crops for food security and selling”, Simon told us.
We hope for him, his community and everyone around the world to return soon back to his normal daily routines!
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis poses long-term risks on the livelihood situation of smallholder coffee farmer families around the globe. When the Coronavirus pandemic started, International Coffee Partners (ICP) remained committed to its support for these families from...