International Awards won since 2016
Families trained on how to set up their backyard gardens
Consolidated remote volunteering programme
Volunteers from 10 different countries
Vertical Farms installed for 90 families
*as of July 2020
Our mission is to empower urban communities to grow their own food and increase agricultural yields throughout all seasons, through the production and distribution of Vertical Farms.
In doing so, we aim to enable the sustainable thriving of our own social enterprise and the community we serve. Fundamentally, VMG aims to provide ecological and innovative means for food production and agribusiness to help marginalized and vulnerable urban communities. One VMG user, on average, can earn $355 annually – which is sufficient income for an average Ugandan household.
Climate variability greatly hinders food security in Uganda. This has a domino effect on people in all walks of life, but particularly so for the most vulnerable: women, children and the elderly. For example, lack of basic food and water is often cause for domestic violence within deprived households, with women and children comprising the largest targets of such.
In an overarching sense, we aim to contribute to climate-smart agriculture and intensification of agricultural production within marginalised communities with limited land at their disposal, which also contributes in eradication of poverty and hunger while promoting women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment. Urban Vertical farming also fosters environmental sustainability by vermicomposting as a means to reducing methane emissions by reducing accumulated household waste. In doing so, not only is community-wide soil and water pollution reduced, but also allows for sustainable soil aeration and fertility through the continued reproduction and conservation of earthworms to be prioritised.
Our Story: How VMG came to be
VMG is a home-grown Ugandan climate smart urban farming social enterprise that primarily designs, manufactures and distributes Vertical Farms. First launched as a project 2014, VMG grew into a social enterprise in February 2017.
VMG was driven by the determination of CEO Paul Matovu to help the poor and underprivileged attain food security. Having witnessed first-hand the struggles of his own environment, he designed the Vertical Farm, a ground-breaking innovation that is now VMG’s flag-ship product. With this pioneering technology, we are able to make agriculture a viable micro enterprise for communities.
To perpetuate growth, several organic products (like worm castings, worm tea) can be produced by users and sold to farmers, individuals or companies.
The Core Team
VMG remains determined in drawing on its collective knowledge and experience to overcome any challenge. Behind every single VMG project is a consolidated team of professionals hailing from cross-disciplinary backgrounds and walks of life.
BSc. Forestry, CEO: Paul is an Agriculturalist & environmentalist. As well as being the CEO & Technical director of the vertical farm innovation
Paul is the brain behind the VMG innovation and has been at the helm of fundraising and marketing the product in Africa, Europe and USA. Paul provides overall strategic direction to the implementation of the project, represents VMG at high level forums, develops the project management plan and monitors performance targets. Paul is also in charge of Quality Assurance, Monitoring and Evaluation of project results as well as periodically reporting to the development of partners and other stakeholders while training subordinate staff.
MSc (University of Oxford) & Masters (Aix Marseille University) Director of international Affairs and lead coordinator of the volunteering programme
After obtaining her MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, Ameerah worked, at first, as an independent consultant for VMG. Mid 2018, Ameerah was promoted to the role of the Director of International affairs—a role that she holds in conjunction with her position as a European Project Manager in Marseille. Having raised, over these four years of consolidated team-work, almost a quarter of the total budget of our social enterprise, she also oversees short and long-term resource allocation and prepares regular project reports for management and audits.
MPA, B. Econ, Business Development, Lead business advisor
Conducts market research and segmentation, business advisory and training to the farmers. He is also charged with making business case scenarios and cost benefit models, deciphering viable marketing options and ensuring we acquire sufficient sales to keep it afloat.
MSc International Studies (University of Northern British Columbia, Canada), Sustainability Director
Sandra is VMG’s Sustainability Director and has 2 years of experience in community development in the natural resources management industry, having worked previously with IUCN.
Our Remote Volunteering Programme (RVP)
Based on this continued demand, VMG envisions a regional and eventual global expansion. It is unfortunate that due to funding constraints, not all demands can currently be met. We believe in enabling brilliant change-makers like our CEO, Paul Matovu, to reach magnitudes of the drastically growing world and urban population through our Volunteering Programme.
Our volunteers and their journeys
If not attended to with modern and contextualized technologies like the Vertical Farm, millions of individuals could otherwise witness and experience extreme levels of food insecurity and so potentially, starvation, high dependence and malnutrition, amongst other observable drawbacks of food insecurity. Meet the global citizens who have willingly donated their time and effort to help VMG in its mission: