How a 1.5-acre field is making a world of difference to Nabikenge Village
In Nabikenge village, community flourishing starts from the ground up. With the help of Kibo Group, community members of Nabikenge Village worked together in March to plant this 1.5-acre field of groundnuts. While there are many such fields throughout Uganda, this one is special because it benefits an entire community. Not only will this field help Nabikenge Village economically, but the communal efforts that produced it will help its members be better and stronger neighbors.
Working with Kibo Group staff member Alex Bamulumbye starting in early 2017, the Nabikenge community formed the Kyebajakobona Mvule Group, made up of 39 people who live in the village. The group's purpose is to create new sources of income for the village. Kibo Group's Mvule Program got them started by helping them plant mvule trees, which provide firewood and timber, and by giving them goats, which provide food and milk. The trees and the goats can also be sold to provide extra income. Each member of the village's mvule group committed to using the resources from the mvule and the goats to help the entire community flourish.
The group decided to use some of the money earned from the goats to start a development project. After debating several ideas, they decided to plant groundnuts, the profits from which can then be reinvested into the community. Alex helped them plan the details of the new business, including how to plant, weed, harvest, package, and sell the groundnuts.
The village's teamwork resulted in an incredible 600-pound harvest. The first 200 pounds were shared among the members of the group. Each individual was able to decide whether to use their portion for food, sell it for profit, or replant it in their gardens.
The village will sell the remaining 400 pounds of groundnuts, which they expect to result in a $200 profit that they will use to rent a second, 2-acre field for an even larger crop next season. As the group's account balance grows, they can use the money to make low-interest loans for starting new businesses, dealing with emergencies, and improving homes.
The profits from the groundnut project will certainly improve the lives of community members in the Nabikenge Village. Even more importantly, the village is learning the skills of teamwork, conflict-resolution, and ownership. The lasting impact of the Mvule Project is not merely a field of groundnuts, but a healthy community that offers economic and educational opportunities for everyone.