Today we visited a small rural village where our own Professor Jimmy Senteza grew up. While at the village we toured a farm that spanned ten acres in total. I was surprised to see the variety in the different kinds of crops. They grew cocoa, coffee, bananas, tangerines, cassava, and other seasonal vegetables. John, the farmer that led us on the tour, let us try a freshly picked tangerine and some of the cassava (which tasted like a white carrot). After a short break of eating bananas and saying hi to some children in the village we went on a tour of how they processed cocoa. We got to see how they crack open the fruit and scoop out the seeds. They let us all try a seed straight from the fruit which tasted like candy. We saw the boxes in which the seeds are fermented and then saw how they were dried. We also got to taste some of the fermented, dried seeds too.
After the cocoa processing plant we went to John's house. First we discussed with the elders of the village about how the farmers use inter-cropping to grow cocoa, bananas, coffee, and maize all together. We discussed some different views on what it means to be a farmer to Ugandans and what it means to be a farmer to Americans. Ugandans believe that in order to be considered a farmer one needs to use mechanistic farming techniques and is otherwise considered a peasant, subsistence farmer. The American view was that a farmer is any one that produces enough crop to sell and it isn't all for personal use. We also discussed how adapting to the climate change is one of the most difficult challenges these farmers face. All the seasons have started to change so they no longer know when it will rain and when it will not. The decreasing job market leading to unemployment in the youth of Uganda was also talked about. After the discussion we ate a delicious traditional Ugandan meal prepared by local women.