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Farming to end starvation

Jeff Caldwell 04/30/2012 @ 10:31am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Imagine making less than $1 per month. Imagine not being able to afford food for you or your family. Imagine living in an area constantly shredded by violence and epidemic disease.

What would you do? For Patrick Sekimpi, this is reality. He grew up on a subsistence farm near Kampala, Uganda, and, as one of 7 children, was lucky enough to grow up and eventually become an orthopedic surgeon.

"I grew up to a family of subsistence farmers with 7 children where we only farmed on 7 acres for our own feeding," says Sekimpi, a member of Farmersforthefuture.com. "I was born and raised in Uganda where I also studied and specialized in orthopedics."

Now, Sekimpi spends most of his days "working on accident victims" while his wife Carole serves as a physician "dealing with HIV AIDS" in young children in the war-torn east African nation. The couple has 3 daughters. By many measures, the Sekimpi family is successful and secure.

But, that's not enough for Patrick Sekimpi.

"After seeing children practically starving to death a few years ago, I decided to serve part of my small income to progressively grow and avail food," he says. "I hope to progressively become more of a farmer as at becomes productive since it's my passion."

His progress thus far only pales in comparison to his aspirations for future growth and plans to realize them. He started with 10 acres of pineapple and today has 30 acres of both pineapple and corn and he's started a small hog herd. In the next 5 to 10 years, he says he hopes to grow to 100 acres.

"My idea is to set up a model farm to produce, but also educate communities and help those around me acquire modern farming skills to feed their families and others," Sekimpi says. "I hope to progressively become more of a farmer as it becomes more productive. It's my passion."

How does he intend to accomplish this? He's got a few goals in mind that will be key to growing his farm. First, he needs more land. Then, he'll require a "storage facility" for his products. Finally, he's looking to mechanize his farm "with a tractor and accessories to increase productivity," he says.

And, part of the whole process is learning through networking with other farmers around the world. "I look forward to learning and sharing experiences and finding out what resources are possible I can put toward improving our farming methods," he says.

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