BLI Caretaker Sees Progress in Local Community, Credits Perseverance and the Bees

“Always stand back up when you fall.” Paul Muzalugamba, a BLI Caretaker officially commissioned in July 2023, shares this lesson as he reflects back on his first year operating his own integral ecology farm. While this first year has included numerous difficulties–including unpredictable weather and original hesitancy from the surrounding community to embrace a new sustainable farming method—Paul has already started to see the fruits of his labor. To what does he attribute much of this success? Perseverance, he says, and of course, the bees.

As a part of his integral ecology project, Paul constructed and manages a number of bee hives. Such hives serve a dual purpose, leading to both the production of honey as well as the pollination of nearby crops. It is this increased pollination that has helped Paul win over his local community. “We have seen the environment transform due to the bees fertilizing the plants in the community,” he says. “This has already contributed to greater food security for the entire community.” It has also led to success with his own crops, which are bountiful, including cassava, tomatoes, bananas, sweet potatoes, spring onions, and strawberries, all grown completely organically.

The first year, however, has also included challenges. The Uganda weather has had an unpredictable year with rains and droughts coming at unexpected times. Additionally, when he was just beginning his project, Paul had his hens stolen by a passerby. While difficult, Paul was prepared for these ebbs and flows. “In agriculture,” he says, “You will face many challenges and progress may be slow, but be ready to learn from the community and move to the next harvest even if one does not work out.” Following his own advice, Paul kept his head high, and he, along with his community, is seeing the results.
Where will he go from here? Paul has big dreams for his farm. In the near future, he hopes that he can start to hire local community members to work alongside him, combatting the high unemployment in Uganda. And long term, he’s aiming even higher, as he plans for his farm to grow into a training institute itself, holding public seminars on integral ecology and regenerative agriculture. This ensures integral ecology does not stop with him but continues to proliferate across the whole of Uganda.
We look forward to continuing to follow Paul’s progress in the coming years.

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