Northern Uganda is generally blessed with fertile available land and accommodating climate. Traditionally, agriculture had long been the backbone of rural economies. Nevertheless, due to the insurgency, the communities lost all the progress that had been made and the prolonged duration of their time in Internally Displaced Camps resulted in an interruption in transmission of agricultural skills from one generation to the other.
ACOT aims to address this gap by providing theoretical and practical agricultural tuition.
ACOT possesses 22 acres of cultivable land composed of two seedling nurseries, land dedicated to food production in order to feed the trainees (maize and beans) as well as cash intensive crops (basil, hibiscus) but the greatest area of land is reserved for students’ plots.
During their tuition, each individual student is asked to grow a range of crops on his/her respective plot and they are evaluated upon it at the end of their course.
ACOT’s curriculum imparts skills to trainees on crop farming, animal husbandry, apiary training as well as basic entrepreneurship. The training runs for four months on a bi-annual basis after which the trainees are given seedlings to take home and plant. The top students are kept and given a training of trainers course (TOT) in order for them to return to their communities and share the knowledge and abilities they have learned.
Furthermore, past students are followed and consulted on a yearly basis in order to observe their progress and personal socio-economic development following the completion of ACOT’s course as well as supporting them when and where we can. This has enabled ACOT to fine tune its tuition curriculum and fill in highlighted gaps so as to give maximum preparation for the departing students to become self-reliant agriculture producers.
During the training, trainees are accommodated on ACOT’s farm grounds in a dormitory and fed as well as looked after in times of sickness by the staff.