Cultivating Indigenous Microorganisms (IMOs) at St. Katherines!

The CREATE Step at St Katherine's!

This week we are excited to share the technology that Yiya students at St. Katherine Girls Secondary School have created during the CREATE step of the engineering design process! These students are tackling the issues of crop disease and soil infertility by promoting organic farming practices in their communities! They are using agricultural engineering to cultivate indigenous microorganisms (IMOs). The application of IMOs has been shown to aid in soil mineral extraction and help with waste decomposition, as well as to boost the immunity of crops to diseases.


Students growing their own indigenous microorganisms (IMOs)

Under the guidance of their teachers and our Yiya field officers, St Katherines students researched how to cultivate IMOs. They designed a process for how to grow the IMOs in a small forest behind their school, and built the apparatus that would house the IMOs and their food. After a few weeks, they have had great growth and are now harvesting their first generation of IMOs! Students are so excited to begin experimenting with the application of this first prototype to their school crops!


Yiya teachers taking the lead!

We are so grateful to these teachers and students for their dedication and hard work, as well as their innovative approach to solving the problem of poor soil quality and crops that are vulnerable to pests and disease. We are especially impressed by the fact that, unlike previous terms, lessons in this unit were independently designed and implemented by the teachers of St. Katherines themselves. These teachers have been coming to our Yiya teacher trainings since late 2016 and now they are designing and leading their own Yiya engineering lessons! We continue to provide teaching support but the teachers are in the lead! We are so excited and impressed by their great work. These teachers are disrupting the status quo of the current education system in Uganda. This is what we at Yiya Solutions, call “REAL” learning.  Read here about our criteria for REAL learning.


More info about IMOs...

Indigenous microorganisms do not contain a single culture of beneficial microorganisms but rather a mixture of different microbes that are native to a particular region; it is a village of good bacteria! These bacteria promote soil health and assist plants by helping control the spread of harmful bacteria, accelerating the decomposition of waste materials, and supporting plants to extract important minerals from the soil to keep them strong and healthy.

IMO-based technology was originally developed and introduced by Dr. ChouHankyu in the 1960s. He employed this technology in natural farms and observed amazing improvements in soil structure and plant health. He discovered that soil which as been treated with IMOs regains its loaminess, tilth, structure. Even those super helpful farmer friends, the earthworms, begin to show increased populations after IMO application to the soil! Natural farming with IMO Technology has now been practiced in more than 30 countries in not only home gardens but also on a commercial scale. Read more here


Keep up the good work!

We are so proud of our Yiya teachers at St. Katherine Girls School for teaching and supporting students to create this technology! After the Yiya Interschool Engineering Competition & Showcase in early October, students will introduce IMO technology to farmers in Lira District to boost their organic farming practices.