Farmers exhibit indigenous foods

Farmers from Karamoja explain how they have preserved some of their indigenous crops. Photos | Lominda Afedraru

What you need to know:

  • The exhibition that was intended to showcase indigenous foods was organised under National Agroecology Symposium by Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Uganda and drew farmers from West Nile, central, northern and eastern Uganda.

Farmers across the country converged at Hotel Africana last week to showcase several types of indigenous foods including cereals, fruits, tubers and vegetables among others organised under National Agroecology Symposium by Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Uganda.

The theme of the symposium was “acerbating a just, inclusive and resilient food systems through agroecology”

Some of the displayed traditional foods thought to have been extinct on included hibiscus, bambara nut, eggplant, amaranth (dodo), red pepper, local cherry tomatoes, spider flower, sukumawiki, pumpkin and jute mallow. 


Vegetables such as nakati, jobyo, ggoobe, malakwang, buga, cassava, finger millet, sorghum and katunkuma were also on display while farmers from West Nile, north and Karamoja displayed traditional cocks, fish, hens, ducks, edible rats, turkeys and Guinea fowls among others.

Phoebe Ageo, a mixed farmer from Soroti District said she has been able to preserve the indigenous foods thanks to a community group they formed several years ago.

“We organised ourselves in a group of 30 farmers with the objective of preserving our local foods especially the vegetables and poultry. We discovered that our local foods are more nutritious than the exotic ones,” said Ageo.

Farmers from Nebbi District display some of their traditional crops and fish. 

Ageo said her group has also managed to preserve local poultry breeds especially chicken and turkey.

“We have maintained the local hens especially those without feathers around their neck. Most people who eat our hens confess we have the best in the country,” said Ageo.  

Organically grown

Awas Tema a farmer from Nabilatuk District in Karamoja said all of the crops she displayed are organically grown.

“We do not use pesticides or artificial fertilisers. To fertilise our gardens, we majorly use cow dung, chicken droppings and urine from the livestock,” said Tema.

Tema and other farmers in her community mainly grow sorghum which is a staple in Karamoja.