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Seeing subsistence farming firsthand

Hilary Gibson

By Hilary Gibson, 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow

Posted Jun. 15, 2015

On one of our final days in the north, we went and visited the home of one of the women who will be a part of a training program that Field of Hope is organizing at the end of July.

Field of Hope will be assisting 40 need-based women in four different districts in the north with agriculture training and tools. The objective of this is to involve more women in food production to increase food security and improve their likelihood of success in farming. The hope is to ultimately increase household income so families can afford food, shelter, health and education.

bowl of harvested beansBowl of beans harvested

We met a widowed woman with her children and grandchildren who will be assisted through the program. The family was so welcoming and so joyful when we came to see them. They offered us the very few chairs they had, the ones they were sitting on, and opted to sit on the ground. We insisted they keep them but they wouldn't take no for an answer. The people here are some of the nicest people I've met, and this just gives you a glimpse into how gracious and hospitable they are to visitors. The mother and some of her neighbors were harvesting beans and were kind enough to let me help during our visit.

The family we visited was one of many families across Sub-Saharan Africa that lives off of subsistence farming. Around 70 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa's population relies on this type of subsistence farming to live, and it was a great learning experience to see it firsthand.

About the Author

Hilary Gibson is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Gibson is from Shawnee, Oklahoma, and has one more semester left in the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on trade and ethics.