Text, photos and videos by Meng Tian, Communication and Multimedia Editor
It is 4 years since 35-year old Joanne Cissy from Uganda switched to ecological methods of cultivation and for her there is no going back: "With ecological agriculture I have acquired both knowledge and money, both an enormous help for the future".
As so often, the success story started with a single conversation. Simon Ojambo, Head of RWDA, the Rural Women Development Association in Uganda visited her house in 2013 and spoke about the money she was spending every day on chemical fertilisers and pesticides for the farm. He explained that this would not be necessary if she switched to ecological farming methods. He also told her about the Biovision Project "Promoting women through agriculture" in the Kayunga District of Central Uganda. Joanne was curious and shortly afterwards attended a training course for farmers - and the rest is history.
"I learned how to make my own ecological fertiliser and no longer need pesticides," says Joanne proudly. She produces more than enough food for her family and sells the surplus direct at the farmers' market on Tuesdays and Fridays. Now a board member of RWDA, she is also valued as an expert in medicinal plants and is frequently consulted for advice. In the interview, she is keen to stress that the project has changed her life for the better and also that she no longer wastes time.
For the future, Joanne would like to have more land to farm and increase her earnings through ecological farming. "Things are already very good for me. I can provide for my family and also help other people. "Long may this continue," says Joanne - a real power woman with a strong voice and sparkling eyes. "