Cultivation projects in Uganda
High in the hills of Uganda, alongside the Rwenzoi mountain range, lies the quiet town of Fort Portal. Its peaceful appearance belies a vibrant, rapidly developing and ambitious young botanic garden, that demonstrates how the benefits of conserving plants can be linked with the community.
Torro Botanic Garden aims to become a centre of excellence in growing, maintaining and displaying living collections of Albertine Rift plants for a variety of purposes: conservation, education, research, horticulture, recreation, food and medicine.
It is undertaking research with a local NGO called SATNET (Sustainable Agriculture Trainers Network, Fort Portal), on the production of herbs and spices, and also the use of Artemisia annua against Malaria. The garden is also involved in drying and processing A.annua and Centella asiactica to produce herbal extracts against malaria and peptic ulcers.
The garden also aims to build capacity for the conservation and use of indigenous plant species. It encourages local organic practices and soon plans to set up a home garden herb and spice cultivation project to provide financial support for low-income women in the local community.