The Man Who Turned Tomato Seeds into Goats
“I am so grateful to no longer be classified among the poorest group in the village.”
In 2007, Joseph Egwongu was ranked among the poorest of his village of Omecha, in Uganda, with no reliable revenues, no assets and very little hope. That all changed when Africare was invited to Omecha to talk about agriculture and development.
When the 2008 regular farming season came to an end, the farmers of Omecha were encouraged to take on off-season market gardening activities. Africare provided improved tomato seeds and carried out intensive monitoring visits. Through hard work and perseverance, Joseph harvested about 240 kilograms of tomatoes that he sold for $150. He used the proceeds to buy six she-goats and one he-goat.
He later sold four goats to take care of the needs of his wife and three children, including paying for all his children’s school fees. He also became a promoter of the “model home” sponsored by Africare, with a large, clean yard, an improved covered latrine, a tip-tap hand-washing device, and a rack for drying utensils instead of leaving them on the ground. Joseph says, “I am so grateful to no longer be classified among the poorest group in the village.” And it all began with a few tomato seeds and training from Africare.