Rearing Animals in Africa the Case of Rural Uganda
Conserving the forest and the great apes is not always easy. We do not always have the knowledge, courage, finances or land to farm in a way that does not harm the environment or to raise livestock so we do not have to hunt for bushmeat.
Rearing animals in Africa is done at almost every home. The animals reared can include chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs and cows. The type of animal reared depends on a number of factors including choice of the family, use of the animal or animal product and the how affordable it is. Goats are animals that are easy to rear in Africa, they can be reared at either small, middle or large scale. Local breeds do not need special attention such as spraying for ticks or any other medicines. They are very resistant to diseases and parasites.
t bitas in Africa have a lo ha e ap t ea gr nd ou ar g er be Communities livin als like cows might eithn and im an r he ot g in ar re d ai in common an due to vegetation, terr ing: n ai nt ai m to e iv ns pe includ difficult or ex ared for many reasons re e ar s at go a ric Af In ding on transport climate. bank and end up spen
ney in the e bank interest instead of investing mo d offsprings will replac 1) Financial security, an ats go in est inv ll – people wi ds and ancestral and earning very little sacrifices to apease go d an ge rria ma g rin e.g. dowery du 2) Ritual ceremonies ion. spirits. used to improve nutrit cing of protein and can be can be used for produ ats go at, go 3) It is a good source of e typ the on ing nd ica, and depe 4) In some parts of Afr cheese and again less care milk products such as er oth milk and thus all thus not expensive sm are y the , ats go r kids (offspring of the estment to rea “lend” goats and the 5) It requires less inv or ” ow orr “b t jus y, people can is needed. Traditionall borrower. een the lender and the tw takes a herd out for be d goats) are share nge where someone era fre be r he eit be d, grazing can e of a sizeable radius 6) They are easy to fee ng each goat on a rop tyi by g” zin gra rodo the “ze a few hours a day or domestic animals in as opposed to other at go a Moslems or women l 7) It is easy to sel not be eaten by e.g. can t tha s pig e lik le. stic animals reared by many peop 8) Unlike other dome ly eaten and therefore de wi are ats go s; on some African tradit
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1) Identify the on the resources, are often the easiest. start with. Depending to ed ne u yo t tha er of goats 2) Determine the numb dually. ng all; learn and grow gra sm area or driving/guardi rt sta it is better to (enclosing in fenced ge ran e fre e m: on the at d d m to fee u want to fee on a rope or bring the 3) Decide on how yo – where you tie each ing raz o-g treme weather zer ex , ze) ing gra oid them as they vantages such as av ad dis the r be em razing rem location. With zero-g bees and ants etc. tting insects such as /bi prepared for routine ing ng conditions, sti them to stay and be for ce pla s ou aci sp d d. ve a clean an g them on the groun 4) Make sure you ha ch better than leavin mu is n lio ponsible. However, vil res pa ly sed tire cleaning. A rai e who will be en on me so y plo em or do. of the family should know what to 5) Identify a member o be ready to help and ld ou sh generation (one – tw ers mb ery ev me other family e it at least after ng cha to r be em rem flock and 6) Keep one Buck in the ding re is less or no inbree u can also consult the re su ke years) to ma for technical advice. Yo cer offi ure ult ric ag or veterinarian 7) Consult your local rience in goat rearing. o have years of expe le other local peop wh
The following articles on Keyhole Gardens and Rearing Animals in Africa provide you with some basic knowledge to begin an environmentally friendly (and nutritious!) garden on a very small plot of land or to choose the right animal to rear given your financial resources and the land available to you. With this knowledge we hope you find courage….courage to do what you can with what you have! Perhaps you do not have land for a Keyhole Garden, but maybe your neighbor does and you can offer your assistance (perhaps in exchange for a few vegetables!). Or maybe you don’t have the finances to purchase chickens, goats or pigs but your sister does, you can advise her what the best animals for her circumstance (goals, finances, land, available veterinary supplies) are. It may seem strange at first do try something so different from everyone else, but remember, to conserve the forest and the chimpanzees and gorillas we sometimes have to find new ways of doing things… the old ways have not always been good to our relatives! It may also seem strange to offer to help others when you do not have the land or resources to raise animals or build Keyhole Gardens. But when it comes to the environment-everything is connected! As your neighbor or sister begins practicing ape-friendly activities you will benefit-fewer chemicals in the soil, more nutritious vegetables for sale in the market, healthier protein sources for your Saturday meal.
Making a Keyhole Garden and rearing animals is not easy, if you choose to do any of these things at home, please find an adult (teacher, parent, sibling, community organizer) to help you. To help conserve the great apes we have to make sure to do these projects correctly!
how to make a key hole garden:
A E K A M O T W HO KEYHOLE GARDEN! “The vegetables have changed our live s completely. I started my keyhole garden one Feb ruary. There was a drought that year - but my vegetables kept gro wing.”
You have seen in Ajani’s Great Ape Adventures’ that there are other ways to find and grow food and other ways to generate income for you and your family than to clear the forest for more and fertile farmland. Here is a great way to help you grow a lot of food on a small patch of land. Keyhole gardens are ideal. They act like an organic recycling tank, using your food and garden waste as fuel to grow vegetables! A Keyhole Garden is a type of kitchen garden that recycles as it grows. The design - which looks like a keyhole from above - incorporates a central ‘basket’ where compostable waste is placed and water is poured. Keyhole (or kitchen) gardens are heaps of soil based around a compost basket that continually feeds the garden as it grows. They grow lots of vegetables in a small area all year round.
You will need: • Large stones, bricks or logs • Garden soil, compost, well rotted manure • Several 5ft garden canes (bamboo sticks etc) • Straw or something similar • A length of wire • Broken lengths of pipes, or old cans • Worms! 1. Find a space in your grounds that’s about 3m2, with good sun, access to water, close to your classroom and relatively sheltered - clear it of weeds and dig it over. 2. Measure out the arm span of whoever will use the garden with some gardening twine. Halve this length and then add another 30 cms - this is the radius of your garden (you can make any size you like, however!). Tie a stick to each end, plant one in the centre of your space and use the other end to draw your circle in the ground. 3. Draw out an entrance triangle to your keyhole from the edge of the circle to its centre, starting at a width of two feet. 4. Now take the canes and lay them on the ground, with a 5-10 cm space in between each cane. Wire the canes together top and bottom by wrapping the wire around each cane and attaching it to the next until they are all attached in a
line. The length of canes should be about 125 cm for a diameter of 40cm. Now attach the canes so that they make a cylinder and push into the ground at the centre of your space. You have just made your garden’s basket! 5. Line the inside of the basket with straw (to keep the compost from falling out) and then half fill with top-soil, composted material, and rotted manure if you have some. 6. Lay your stones, bricks or logs around the perimeter of your garden - this could be a single layer or more, enough to keep the soil in. Make a layer of broken lengths of pipe, rubble or cans (rustier the better) to improve the drainage. 7. Now start filling the garden with a mixture of garden soil, compost and well-rotted manure (if you have some). If you can include some worms, they’ll help to circulate the soil. Remember to make sure that the soil goes into the garden in the order that it came out of the hole it came from NB the top-soil goes on top! Keep piling up the soil until you have a mound, which slopes away from the basket - this increases the surface area that you can plant on. 8. Your keyhole garden is now ready for planting! You can segment the area into different crops to enable you to rotate them next season. Or, if you are
a seasoned gardener, you will know how to do some intercropping and companion planting. 9. You can mulch with some wood chippings or something similar and put some colourful wool lines in to remind you what you’ve sown and to brighten it up a bit. To start with you’ll need to water in the basket and the soil surface until the roots grow. 10. Now you can carry on your composting by adding uncooked, organic foodwaste into the basket using the entrance and water with waste washing up water into the basket too (this contains phosphorous, which some plants really like). Putting something over the top of the basket will help retain heat and speed up the composting process. The water should permeate the garden and water the roots of your crops with lots of lovely nutrients! 11. You should now have easy access to your garden and be able to reach in to plant, weed, and pick your vegetables.
Compost improves the structure and water-holding capacity of the soil, and adds nutrients to it. It recycles household and farmyard by-products - especially manure - and saves impoverished families the expense of commercial fertiliser. There are many ways to make compost: this method is taught in the semi-arid region of eastern Uganda.
Rose is an orphan from Rwanda.
den She looks after the keyhole gar with her brother Fidele. “Feed the soil and the soil will feed you. Keep livestock and the livestock will keep your crops - Patrick Fedrick Wangao, Tanzania.
When you and your family are able to make the most of what resources you’ve got to hand, you can produce two or three times as many vegetables from your land. This means you will grow enough to sell some as well. You can try ot yourself and you can find people to help you to farm better. For instance from www.sendacow.org. As well as giving livestock, Send a Cow trains rural families in Africa in natural farming methods that enable them to grow more food without harming their land. The key principle is to integrate livestock (a cow, rabbits, goat, chicken etc) and crops so nothing goes to waste - whether that’s cow dung, vegetable peelings, or washing-up water. Simple - and cheap!
They feed the garden with compost and they water it using a gutter from their roof. Now they get three times more crops than they used to.
Crop yields increase - sometimes four or five-fold - so families have more to eat and sell. You can even grow new types of fruit and vegetables. Keyhole gardens are ideal. They act like an organic recycling tank, using your food and garden waste as fuel to grow vegetables! When families are able to make the most of what resources they’ve got to hand, they can produce two or three times as many vegetables from their land.
How to make compost: 1. Mark out an area 2m x 0.5m in a shady position. 2. Hammer 1.5m tall posts firmly into theground at each corner. 3. D ig the earth about 8cm down, then till. 4. Layer the following: • Dry matter: to add carbon and improsoil structure • Urine or water: to help the heap rot • Ash: to add potassium and aid breakdown • Animal droppings (fresh or dry): to add nutrients and improve structure • Top soil: to introduce insects and worms • Green plant materials: for nutrients 5. Keep layering until the heap is 1m high - the best height to achieve the perfect composting temperature of 60°C. 6. Insert a long stick (a ‘stickometer’!) diagonally through the heap, so it goes through all layers. 7. Cover the heap so that important gases and nutrients do not escape. 8. Every week, pull out the stick. If there is any white on the stick, this is fungus. Make a hole in the heap at the corresponding point, and pour in water. 9. A fter a few weeks, turn the heap. You no longer need to keep it in layers. Make sure you turn it before the stickometer goes cool. 10. C over it again, and leave it until it looks like soil. The time needed depends on the material you have used and the climate