By 2030, over 31% of the Ugandan population may live in urban areas. The growth in urban areas is twice as high as in rural areas in Uganda. The main challenge is to meet the food demand in these areas. Food insecurity arises as a result of low incomes and the increasing amount of farmland that is used for housing. The enterprise Vertical & Micro Gardening (VMG), incorporated in 2017 by Paul Matovu, seeks to enhance the optimization of limited space especially in urban areas. The innovative concept of a Vertical Farm integrates micro-gardening and waste management, and it empowers financially poor urban households while protecting the environment.
The area of one Vertical Farm has the capability to plant up to 200 plants. The farms can produce higher yields with more nutrients due to the nutritious soil, on which a variety of crops can be grown in an agro-ecological and organic manner. Based on the trials, each Vertical Farm earns US$352 per year. VMG can reduce poverty and hunger in Uganda and is furthermore environmentally friendly due to the water saving function of the farms, the reuse of waste as fertilizers and the use of sustainable materials. The company around Paul Matovu has already sold over 70 Vertical Farms and built-up a four-man team with many volunteers.