Read about Branko and the huge impact Temwa’s agriculture project has had on him and his family.
In 2007 Branko’s wife, Maggie, tested positive for HIV and subsequently Branko also tested positive along with his four year old daughter, Fyness. Branko recalls this difficult time;
‘I had a family to support, without any food or money our situation looked bleak. I couldn’t even afford a bar of soap. On top of this my wife, daughter and I all tested positive for HIV. I knew how important it was that we have enough food to try and keep us healthy, but I didn’t know what to do. I also have two other daughters who needed to be looked after, they needed their parents to guide them, I was worried about my family’s future.’
Joining Temwa’s Agriculture Project
Branko heard through one of his neighbours about the agricultural training projects Temwa was running and realized that joining one of these projects could help him and the challenges faced by his family.
Branko received training and was given a vegetable seed starter pack which contained; sugar beans, tomato, onion, cabbage, chinese cabbage, rape and maize seeds. This was the first time that Branko had grown crops other than cassava. Branko recalls;
‘2011 was the first year that I was able to produce enough food to support my family which was the most amazing feeling. However, in that year I was also able to generate an income from the extra crops that I had grown. I couldn’t believe that I had gone from not being able to produce enough for my family to eat, to then producing so much I could sell vegetables in my community.’
With the income generated, Branko was able to buy two pigs which he is breeding. Plus, buy some extra land for crop production. Branko now has over 600 tomato plants and 300 onion plants. His extra plot also contains eggplant, cabbage, and spring onion crops. Through learning about soil and water conservation, Branko has been able to apply this knowledge to grow crops year-round. This provides food security, as well as increasing the nutritional content of his family’s diet. Finally, Branko also completed repairs to his house and started a grocery business. Branko has also passed on skills he has learnt to his daughters. Ensuring that they have the knowledge to sustainably farm in the future.
Branko identified the importance in passing on his new knowledge and skills;
‘It is important that I teach my daughters all of the things I have learnt so that when I am no longer here to provide for them they will have the skills and understanding. Also, I am able to help my neighbours and teach them the basic skills needed to ensure they start to farm all year round.’