Bigodi has a population of 9500 people (4700 women and 4800 men) of which 8550 are farmers. Ugandans in rural areas depend on farming as the main source of income and 90% of rural women work in the agricultural sector. Due to the effects of climate change and unsustainable farming methods, yield seasons have been leaving many women in Bigodi with little food and no income to cover their basic needs. As a result, women find themselves in vicious cycles of poverty, working between 12 and 18 hours a day, and leaving no time for education and self-care.
During community engagement interviews conducted by Seeds and Stories, women farmers identified little or no income as their biggest challenge, with the average respondent making $1 per day. Respondents also identified access to education and illiteracy as other major challenges.
The economic and social challenges faced by women in Bigodi, are exacerbated by negative environmental impacts. Population growth and environmental degradation have been contributing to food insecurity, as well as significant loss of income to farmers. Since 2020, these issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic. As farmers are struggling to provide for their basic needs they have been abandoning traditional farming methods to adopt intensive forms of agriculture which are causing habitat loss and environmental degradation, threatening Kibale National Park and wetland wildlife.
Seeds & Stories designs its programmes in a way that deeply respects and embraces the cultural and ecological uniqueness of Bigodi, recognizing its traditions and landscapes.
We are committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, namely ending poverty and hunger, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, climate action and life on land. We are motivated by the power of regenerative development, which has the potential to both achieve and exceed the Paris Agreement on climate change and Sustainable Development Goals through nature-based solutions. Most importantly, we are building local women's capacity so they can become agents of their own development, support local conservation of natural resources, and promote environmental regeneration.