In 2008, Professor Maggie Kigozi nominated me as one of the East African leaders who had achieved success in her field, and I had the opportunity to experience a two-year fellowship programme, the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellowship. I experienced the ALI Fellowship together with twenty other East African leaders – Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians and Rwandans from all sectors, business, government and non-governmental. During our fellowship, as ALI Fellows, we were challenged to do more for those in our communities that were less advantaged. I took up the challenge and I established a demonstration farm, Alinga Farms, at our ancestral home in Kadegele Village in Pallisa Rural Sub-County in Pallisa District in Eastern Uganda.

The challenge of establishing Alinga Farms at the time confirmed to me how little I knew about the realities of my people, the Iteso of Uganda and how so little I knew about the dynamics of culture and food security. Five years later, I am more knowledgeable about the culture of my people and loving it. I get immense pleasure and satisfaction seeing my small farm blossom into a fully fledged social enterprise that is supplying ten major supermarket outlets in Kampala. That we have supplied quality products of international standard consistently for five years is a major achievement for us. Most importantly, Alinga Farms has guaranteed tens of farmers with a market for their produce, making it possible for them to get a good price and to plan their investments. During this Christmas holiday, 2014, I shall visit with some of our farmers in Pallisa and with their permission I will share their stories in later posts.

Best wishes,