AMAGARA Market Gardeners’ Association
The Bwindi Advanced Market Gardeners’ Association(AMAGARA means ‘life’ in the local Rukiga language) was established with the support of Sustain for Life in 2006 to create opportunities for local farmers to produce foods to supply the tourism industry. The concept of AMAGARA was to create a farmers’ association where local subsistence farmers could be trained to grow a variety of good quality produce which would be bulked, graded and marketed directly to the tour camps through the association, thus ensuring that the revenue it achieved came straight back into the local community.
AMAGARA has shown dramatic progress and, as at April 2008, boasted over 100 member households who now benefit directly from supplying vegetables and other products to every tour camp at Bwindi. It has trained several hundred members and other local people in land management and horticultural techniques and it now employs three full time staff and numerous casual workers.
The AMAGARA project encapsultaes Sustain for Life’s aim of helping people to help themselves. It is flourishing and is now a self-funding concern. We have been pleased to support AMAGARA and are now delighted that it can run on its own – the local committee and all those involved can rightly be proud of what they have achieved.