Slow Food celebrates the opening of the 6th Earth Market in Uganda in Bwizibwera-Rutooma

23 Apr 2024 | English

The Bwizibwera-Rutooma Earth Market launch took place on April 20, 2024, at the Rutooma playground in Mbarara district, an ideal market venue for its strategic location, accessibility, and popularity. The other five Slow Food Earth Markets in Uganda are in the large agricultural zones of Lira, Manafwa, Mukono, Kampala and Buikwe.

The launch was attended by over 300 people including many road users, over 31 Earth Market members and stakeholder representatives, traders from various areas of Mbarara and the public. The launch wasn’t intended to be exclusive and was of interest to all demographics of age, gender, and class within society.  What made the event unique was the intended interaction between the small-scale agro-ecological farmers and the consumer community. This facilitated the transfer of knowledge between those who know about different food products and those who simply use the products daily.

Rutooma Town Council is a local administrative unit located on Mbarara Ibanda Road in Mbarara District, Western Uganda. Situated amidst the picturesque western landscapes, it serves as a hub for commercial activities and community services. With a population from diverse Rutara backgrounds, Rutooma fosters a sense of unity and cultural richness. The Town Council provides basic amenities such as conventional markets, health facilities and educational institutions that contribute to the well-being and development of its residents.

The expected customers are the local communities, restaurants, local administrators, schools and hospitals and the users of the Mbarara-Ibanda road are the normal customers.

The Bwizibwera – Rutooma Earth Market is emerging as a beacon of agroecology and community resilience in the heart of Rutooma town. The inauguration of the market was also an opportunity to embody a vision for ethical food and consumption. It marked a pivotal moment in the journey towards a more sustainable, equitable and environmentally conscious future.

Slow Food Bwizibwera Rutooma Earth Market coordinator, John Bosco Bakashaba, is as well an organic farmer. He comments: “The market is the result of the will of the farmers who make up the Bwizibwera Rutooma Earth Market Community, the demand for unconventional foods by community members, the willingness of the farmers to participate directly in the market and the agricultural diversity of the region. It is the only agro-ecological market in the entire western regions of Uganda and the 6th Earth Market in Uganda”.

The 31 Slow Food Bwizibwera-Rutooma Earth Market producers offer every Saturday bananas, beans, coffee, groundnuts millet, vegetables, pumpkins, fruits, cabbage, avocados, mangoes, tomatoes, sorghum, jackfruits, pawpaw, sugarcanes, and maize.

The launch of the Bwizibwera – Rutooma Earth Market represents a collaborative effort towards building a more resilient and sustainable food system. Through collective action and commitment, Slow Food Uganda aims to create a thriving marketplace that not only sustain livelihoods but also nurtures the health of our land and communities. As Slow Food embarks on this journey together, let all the stakeholders uphold the principles of equity, biodiversity, and cultural heritage, ensuring that our actions resonate for generations to come.

The establishment of the Slow Food Rutooma – Bwizibwera Earth Market has been done with the support of Biovision under the project „Accelerating agroecological food production, consumption and market access for a resilient food system in Uganda„.

 

 

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