- Year Selected: 2019
- Age at selection: 22
- Venture: Vertical and Micro Gardening
- Country: Uganda
- Sector: Agriculture
Catherine Nalukwago fell into entrepreneurship through her interest in agriculture in Uganda. While at university, she and two other friends wanted to help impoverished urban households grow their food through sack gardening. Later, she led the process of designing an aquaponics urban program to be incorporated into micro-farming in a bid to boost nutrition in the city. However, this didn’t pan out.
Having faced challenges with sack gardens, Catherine was urged to make it more durable, accommodate more crops, be self-fertilizing and proof it against adverse weather conditions. This is how the idea of the Vertical Farm came to fruition.
Catherine went on to co-found Vertical and Micro Gardening (VMG), an enterprise that has developed a product called The Vertical Farm which makes urban farming a viable micro-enterprise for low-income households. The unit also has a vermicomposting core that supplies highly nutritious soil to all tiers and allows for a variety of crops to be grown in an agro-ecological and organic manner.
Increasing accessibility to organic foods to all urban households is one of the goals of VMG.