Hi there, Emma, ​​Matthijs, Soetkin and Nina reporting for duty! Currently in the middle of our exams we are extremely excited for the summer of our lifetime. Early July we’re off to Uganda to provide support and add value to two wonderful projects: VMG and MACCA.

Growing population and increasing urbanization in Kampala, Uganda is forcing city dwellers to come up with creative ideas to ensure reliable fresh food supply in a sustainable manner. Paul Matovu aims to provide healthy and organic crops to low-income urban families and communities. To this end, he started the VMG business in 2014 and created the very first integrated wooden vertical farming solution in Uganda. This vertical farm (VF) consists of stacked soil beds and can accommodate up to 200 plants on a 1mx1m space! By taking advantage of the natural growth of earthworms and integrated composting chamber, no water-polluting or carcinogenic chemicals or inorganic fertilizers are needed. Furthermore, these VFs give families the opportunity to start their very own micro-agribusiness.

Paul spent a whole year constructing 300 working prototypes, which he also sold to his very first customers, to prove the viability of this business. As every great business that started somewhere in the back of a garage, it is now time to step up production and go big!

If only there were some enthusiastic engineering students to help Paul with this…

After our first three weeks, we will move to … Jinja!

Here we will be working on the MACCA project. (Measures Against Climate Change) This project was set up by five local organizations who want to work towards a more prosperous lifestyle for 1000 women maize farmers living in the Busoga sub-region who are disadvantaged by climate change. Our preparatory work consisted mainly of researching machines to set up a pilot factory to make powder for children’s porridge.

On site, we will be deployed in parts of the project where we can make ourselves most useful. What that will entail exactly, we will tell you in August!