July 5, 2017
By Elizabeth Norikane, East Africa Communications Specialist
Mixing a few common plants and materials found around her home, Ajok Lilly has found a way to naturally keep bugs and pests away from her garden. Ajok Lilly explained she was skeptical when she learned from the TREES Trainers that a combination of plants, soap, and water would effectively do the work of the expensive chemicals she had been buying in town, but she wanted to see for herself. After using the mixture, she discovered the pesticide worked extremely well. In fact, neighboring farmers who were using chemical pesticides during the same period faced issues with termites and bugs attacking their vegetables, while her crops remained unscathed.
In the last few months, Ajok has saved more than $45 from making her own pesticide. She also no longer needs to use the harsh chemicals that will leech into the soil, air, and plants. In addition to the economic and environmental benefits, she is also improving the health of her farm, family, and community by using natural, organic repellent. Neighbors began talking of Ajok Lilly’s pesticide and word spread quickly throughout her village. Many farmers have began buying her organic mixture instead of the strong chemicals sold in town. She has produced more than 30 litres of the pesticide- and she is just getting started.
Due to her success within her community, Ajok Lilly was invited to present at the county-level to demonstrate how she makes the pesticide. For her most recent batch, she used a portion on her own field and was able to sell the remainder for an $11 profit- an amount that might not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way in Kole, Uganda. With the profits from her sales, Ajok Lilly has been able to pay family members’ debts. In addition to her own children, her niece and nephew lived with her since her brother passed away a few years ago, and now she is able to support their education, as well as provide healthier, chemical-free foods.
Soon Ajok Lilly has plans to train a group of women farmers so they are able to make the pesticide themselves and sell the excess for profit. The training she received from Trees for the Future has lead Ajok Lilly to improve her life and pass along the lessons learned to others.
Out of gratitude to the donors that have made her participation with Trees for the Future possible, she shares the recipe with you:
- 1 kg of Young Mango leaves
- 1 mug of Black Jack leaves
- 1 mug of Red Pepper
- 1 matchbox size of Soap
Combine in 10 litres of water and store in an airtight container.