Traditional farming is hard work, it doesn’t supply enough for people to live on and it damages the land, so local people turn the national parks into farmland and forage in the forests. We give them an alternative.
For 15 years The Gorilla Organization has been teaching sustainable farming techniques that save the forest and lift people out of poverty.
Gorillas are surrounded by some of the most densely populated land in Central and East Africa. Most people live on labour-intensive subsistence farming, employing inefficient agricultural practices that produce poor yields, lead to widespread poverty and ruin the land within a few seasons.
This forces local people to use the National Parks as farmland or to trespass for resources such as firewood, destroying the forests and threatening the survival of the gorillas. Sustainable agriculture provides a viable alternative.
The Gorilla Organization launched a secondary sustainable farming project giving community members the chance to keep bees in a gorilla-friendly way. Beekeeping has always been popular in this part of Africa, but, traditional beekeepers build their hives in the forests and smoke out the bees to collect their honey. This destroys trees and causes fires which tear through the home of the last surviving mountain gorillas.
Since 2004, Kisoro Beekeepers Cooperative Society, supported by the Gorilla Organisation, has provided training, equipment and funding and for beekeepers to use man-made hives that produce more honey in a sustainable and, above all, gorilla-friendly, way.
Our success so far
- 13 Key Farmer Trainers (KFTs) received education and support in 2016
- KFTs passed on their skills to 65 other farmers, with 78 more training in 2017
- Farmers and trainers each received seeds, wheelbarrows, a fork hoe, spade, rake, tape measure and machete
- KFTs shared excess seeds with their local communities for their next crop
- Provided goats to reward KFTs for training new farmers
- Trained a queen bee rearer and project manager in Hoima, Uganda
- Five beekeeping trainers will visit the agricultural show in Jinja, Uganda, in 2017