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Afrika-Blog

News from Germany

News from Germany

Impressions from our Ugandan interns: Daily work on the farm, Agritechnica in Hannover, Demonstration in Berlin and Karneval in NRW…

Daniel Kule - December 2019 - "A typcial Day on my Hostfarm"

Daniel stays at a farm in Lower-Saxony - it is a mixed farm with dairy cows, chickens and crop production

In this video, Daniel Kule takes us with him to his farm in Northern Germany, explaining his daily working routine on his hostfarm. 

Zwischenseminar in der Lüneburger Heide

LBZ Echem, Weihnachtsmarkt und das Forstamt Göhrde

Anfang Dezember fand unser Zwischenseminar in der Lüneburger Heide statt. Im Landwirtschaftlichen Bildungszentrum (LBZ) in Echem wurden wir sehr herzlich aufgenommen, gut versorgt und habe eine Führung über den ganzen Betrieb bekommen!

Während des Seminars ging es dann vor allem darum eine Zwischenbilanz zu ziehen, das bisher Erlebte zu rekapitulieren und einzuordnen. Gleichzeitig haben sich die ugandischen Praktikanten mit der Frage beschäftigt, in welcher Form sie ihr hier erlangtes Wissen auf ihren Heimatbetrieben in Uganda umsetzen können. Erste „Action-Pläne“ wurden erstellt, diskutiert und vorangebracht.

Nach getaner Arbeit gab es auch eine kleine Kultureinheit: bei einem Besuch auf dem Lüneburger Weihnachtsmarkt, gab es die ersten Begegnungen mit der deutschen Vorweihnachtszeit.

“We used to think that things here are ok. But they are not!”

 

Am letzten Tag ging es dann zum Forstamt Göhrde. Der stellvertretende Forstamtsleiter Herr Knocke gab uns einen spannenden Einblick in die Geschichte und die aktuelle Situation des deutschen Waldes. Ein wichtiges Thema auch für unsere ugandischen Landwirte und Landwirtinnen, sind doch von der ursprünglichen Waldfläche in Uganda heute gerade einmal 10% übrig. Für einem Land, in dem auch Agro-Forstsysteme eine zunehmend wichtige Rolle spielen, ist die Auseinandersetzung mit den unterschiedlichsten Aspekten der Waldbewirtschaftung sehr spannend. „Wir müssen immer beides berücksichtigen, Land- und Forstwirtschaft“, war somit auch ein Fazit, das wir von dem Tag im Forstamt mitnehmen konnten.

 

Nachdem Herr Knocke uns die Ausmaße des sich immer weiter verbreitenden Borkenkäfers vor Augen führte, gab es großes Entsetzen. „We used to think that thing here are ok“, sagte Florence. Dass aber auch Deutschland große Probleme mit seinen Forsten hat, wurde an diesem Tag allen Teilnehmenden klar.

 

Große Heiterkeit gab es dann allerdings, als es um die Wachstumszeit von Bäumen ging. Bäume im deutschen Klima brauchen schon mal 100 Jahre und mehr bis zur Ernte. Und so können wir Bestände, die nach 40 Jahren erntereif sind, mit Fug und Recht als „schnell wachsend“ bezeichnen. Fast unglaublich für die Ugander. Da das warme Klima dort ein ganzjähriges Wachsen der Vegetation zulässt, können Kiefern in Uganda teilweise bereits nach 15 Jahren geerntet werden.

 

Nachdem wir im Anschluss einem Harvester bei der Arbeit zusehen durften, gab es noch eine Führung durch das ehemalige Naturschutzgebiet Breeser Grund, vorbei an zauberhaften 500 Jahre alten Eichen.  

 

Raymond und Paul bereiten sich auf ihren Einsatz auf dem Harvester vor!
Dr. Teutenberg vom Kuratorium für Waldarbeit und Forsttechnik hat unseren Waldtag mit ihrem Fachwissen begleitet.

Demonstration in Berlin

26th of November

"FARMING

      noun: [farm-ing]

The art of losing money, while working 400 hours per month to feed people, who think you are trying to kill them."

Joseph Wandera - November 2019

Joseph stays at a farm in North Rhine-Westphalia - it is a mixed farm with crop production, pig fattening and a biogas plant

Attending the carnival with my host family for cultural integration purposes, but also to learn about german traditions.

The exchange program came in at the time, when most of the field preparatory activities for the next season – like ploughing, sowing, etc. – were almost done. At the farm, most of the field machines, like the combine, tractors, planters, transporters, harrows among others, were being cleaned for parking for the winter period. However, some of the machines that are needed for the daily activities are still available and at disposal for me to use, like the telescope ladder, transporter and tractors.

Most of the days, I work with the family members and the activities at the farm vary according to the needs. Some activities are the same every day, others need to be done periodically.

On a typical day at the farm, we work for close to eight hours and the day starts at 07:30 with breakfast and at exactly 8 o'clock, with the inspection of the pig stables. This involves monitoring the physical fitness of the pigs, whether there are signs of a disease.

We check if pigs are injured in one way or the other, but we also most importantly look at the feeding, watering and temperature control systems to ensure, that they are functional and are in the right settings to provide a suitable environment for the pigs to grow well. All the above work is done for a period of maximum 2 hours and at 10 o'clock we move to the biogas plant section.

 

 

There we use the telescope ladder to take the maize silage from the silos and we feed the biogas system. We check the control system to ensure that it is running normal with the right temperatures needed in the fermenters for the bacteria to breakdown the material into methane gas that is needed to run the engine that converts the gas into electric current.

All the above two activities are done on a daily basis in the morning and in the evening between 8 and 11 o'clock and 16 to 18 o'clock respectively.

The rest of the day, a number of activities are tabled and some of these really require waking up very early in the morning at 5 o'clock, especially when it is time to sell the picks to the slaughter house.

 

 

In addition, the stables, where the pigs have been staying and which are empty because they were taken to slaughter, need to be repaired and cleaned so that the next pig batch finds them clean.

Other activities that I engage myself in the host family include visiting various other farms in the area to widen the exposure, collect some feed components from Freckenhorst farmers center, sometimes head to the machinery ring office with the host family's son to have insights on how work is carried out. Once in a while I go with the family's daughter to her school and share insights about farming in the tropics, but also attend exhibitions and finally various events in the area for networking purposes but also cultural integration.

 

 

Ritah Lutaaya - November 2019

Ritah stays at the "Farm Westermann" in North Rhine-Westphalia – it is a mixed farm with crop production and pig fattening

On the last day of our seminar in Warendorf, I was very curious and also a bit anxious to go to my host family. I did know I was going to meet other sweet people who were going to be part of my life. Mister Westermann and his wife Britta, his parents plus their 4 kids. As I arrived at their home, they welcomed me with smiles as if we already knew each other for a long time. 

 

That evening we danced to african music. It was one of the most memorable experience in my life, seeing kids enjoying and crying to learn african dance!

 

The next day, I entered the farm premises and it was amazing to see that most of the work is done by the machines and that only one or two people are actually needed here to work.

 

I also had the privilege to go with Britta – Mister Westermann’s wife – to work at another farm, where I could see many pregnant pigs and also mother pigs.

 

I have many experiences and lessons learnt since I came and I am still learning more every day.

 

ein Besuch bei der Agritechnica

Die weltweit größte Agrartechnik-Messe wollten sich weder unsere ugandischen Praktikanten noch die Mitarbeiter der Schorlemer Stiftung entgehen lassen.

Henry Ssenteza - November 2019

Henry stays at the "Farm Sprenker" in North Rhine-Westphalia – it is a mixed farm with crop production and pig fattening 

 

My arrival, it was so wonderful! I was first welcomed by the little girls dressed in their Halloween dresses with paint all over their faces. It was wonderful. The freedom, the time and money their parents invested in the event for the kids. It was so wonderful, for I thought the Halloween parties are movie scenes and I had never thought of it practically, but at my host farm I had a feel of it.

 

And that was straight on the entry into the house, that soon the wife and the father of Mister Sprenker came in and with arms straight to me welcomed me to my family for the next couple of months. We had a mouth-watering dinner. Most of the things were new to me and I looked through to whatever caught my eyes and tasted. Not forgetting it was Halloween, the table was filled with a couple of dishes I have never tasted. But being the food person I am, no dish disappointed me and it was wonderful!

 

Later on, I was taken to my house with all I would need and we made the program for the next day. And since then, it has been a couple of wonderful days with the Sprenker Family for the lovely care given to me all through.

 

Usually, I come in late when all field work is done. But none the less, it has been pigs, pigs and pigs every day. Checking on them in the morning and evening, loading fattened ones for selling and cleaning sties in preparation for piglets.

 

I am learning, meeting new people and doing something different everyday. And I am visiting places day in and out. I am soooo greatful to all: Schorlemer Stiftung, AHA, BMZ, UNYFA and you people!

Thanks a lot!  

 

 

I came fully prepared for winter and on this morning, we had a glimpse of frozen water outside the farm. I am worried of freezing in winter, as by now I was already freezing (even before winter time) despite putting on my best warm winter attire.
In fear of the frost damaging our produce, we had to cover our pumpkins at the self service market in the evenings and open them up in the mornings.
Checking out the best products from the store to take them to the market.
The morning and evening checks through the sties (buns) to ensure all pigs are fine.
Red marking the sickly pig for monitoring and treatment.
Out next to the pig shelters.
Out in front of the liquid feed tank.
Next to the spraying tractor. As given the frost, it could not be put to use. Though still in this time of the year, there was no work for it.
Out on a Sunday evening with my host family in Soest.
The 682. Soester Allerheiligenkirmes is very impressiv in the historic city center.

Auftaktseminar bei der DEULA in Warendorf

27. – 31. Oktober 2019

Johannes Leberer (Schorlemer Stiftung) am Flughafen in Düsseldorf.

Am 27. Oktober wurden die 15 ugandischen Teilnehmenden am Flughafen in Düsseldorf von der Schorlemer Stiftung in Empfang genommen.

In Warendorf warteten dann schon die deutschen Teilnehmerinnen gespannt auf ihre afrikanischen Kollegen und Kolleginnen.

Während der folgenden Tage konnten sich alle Teilnehmenden kennen lernen, sich über ihre Erwartungen austauschen und viel über ihr zukünftiges Gastland lernen! Es wurden Vorurteile aus dem Weg geräumt (oder bestätigt), Freundschaften geschlossen und jeden Abend wurde ausgiebig getanzt.

 

 

Am Ende des Seminars konnten die ugandischen PraktikantInnen dann die BetriebsleiterInnen ihrer „Hostfarm“ kennenlernen, mit denen sie die kommenden 3 Monate verbringen werden.

Ein Schwerpunkt war auch hier das offene Besprechen von kulturellen Unterschieden, Erwartungen und Unsicherheiten auf beiden Seiten.

 

Am Ende der fünf Tage machten sich die vier Deutschen – etwas müde aber erwartungsfroh – auf den Weg zum Flughafen. Die Ugandaer und Ugandaerinnen hingegen verteilten sich in alle Richtungen auf ihre jeweiligen Gastbetriebe.