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A Ugandan farmer’s story

Mark Lodim is a father of three living in Karamoja, Uganda. He has benefitted from Concern’s training programme and turned his life around.

Mark Lodi and his young son outside their home in Karamoja, Uganda.

At age 12, he was forced to drop out of school after raiders stole his family’s cattle. His parents had simply no means to pay for his education.

Family crisis

Shortly afterwards, Mark’s father died, plunging the family into crisis. He and his family turned to growing sorghum, a common staple in Uganda, and earning small amounts of money through casual labour to survive. It was a difficult and precarious existence. Their situation brought them to the attention of Concern, who encouraged Mark to enrol in a vocational skills training programme.  

Classes

Mark attended crop husbandry classes where he learned how to check for plant diseases, manage pests and use local plants as natural pesticides. He also learned how to effectively prepare, grow and harvest crops using improved farming techniques. 

Crop diversification

The classes made a huge difference to his farming. Mark no longer focused on growing sorghum alone – he began to grow maize, groundnuts, tomatoes, onions and cabbages. Soon he was enjoying higher yields and harvesting several times a year, instead of one. 

Business skills

As part of our training programme, Mark also attended classes in business development. It prompted him to take his business a step further. With the extra money he made from more produce, he bought a bicycle to transport his goods to the nearby markets in Kangole and Lorengedwat. 

Business development

At first, the business centred on the trade of his home-grown onions, cabbages and tomatoes. Then he expanded to begin trading other items like soap and salt in partnership with an elderly shopkeeper. Thanks to his bike, Mark now enjoys the shared proceeds from his mobile trading business along with the sale of his own vegetables. His main ambition, he says, is to return to school and complete his education so he can develop himself and be able to provide a better future for his children.