Kira Farm

We have arrived in Uganda to begin discovering A whole new flora and fauna which is constantly surprising us. Tropical fruit trees, sugar cane, plantain, and bananas and everywhere and so many unknown plants. Some I can place into families, and others…. I can’t.  Kira farm (where we are living for the next three months) is a 22 acre site with large areas in cultivation. Cassava, upland rice, pineapples, maize, and sweet potato are the main crops. In addition to these there  is an orchard with mangos, guavas, and various citrus, and there are also the beginnings of a medicinal garden.

Emmy, the manager of the farm part of Kira, gave us a tour which included some amazing things about the site and the plants grown here.  As you may know part of our plan while travelling is to record stories of how plants are important to people so I was blown away when on our first day in Uganda Emmy told us about Artemisia and its anti malarial properties. If you have been to the Oxford Botanic Gardens where I worked before coming here, you may have seen Artemisia annua in the new medicinal beds. You can imagine my surprise when one of the first plants we were shown here was Artemisia (I assume it is annua but will find out next week) which is being grown for its anti malarial properties. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.

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Emmey showing us Artemisia

We only met Emmy briefly (in fact I suspect I have spelt his name wrong), but he has a wealth of knowledge about plants, and is more than willing to share. He also mentioned about a dozen other plants with fun medicinal properties. In the coming weeks as we get to know him better, and if he is willing, we will record some of this information in a more formal way and create one of our first profiles. Exciting times ahead.




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2 responses to “Kira Farm

  1. Mark

    When I was in East Timor I was treating some young kids with Coartem….

    First got approval in ’09 (the Chinese have known about artemisinin for yonks) it is a combination drug- artemether 20 mg/lumefantrine 120 mg

    Of my little experience of it it seemed fairly decent, I remember one kid you had several signs of malaria (anaemia, jaundiced, large spleen). When I saw him at the out-reach clinic a week later looked like a different kid…..

    Cure rates of 96-97% have been observed even in areas of high resistance to most other treatments. The importance is to combine it with other anti-malarial agents however, to stop this resistance developing, hence the use of an artemisinin based drug and another!

    Cool to hear what else is growing in the garden….

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