Courses and events

Courses and events

November 2022 – PDC

November PDC Crowdfunding – Sponsor a student

Hi everyone. My name is Cristy and I’ve been proudly supporting Permaculture Initiative Uganda since 2017. Coming up in November 2022 we’re hoping to run a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) for members of the Kitimba Butambala community (with face-to-face and online components), but we need your help.

We price our PDCs at $100 per head to make them available to most people in the community. Still, this is out of reach for the most vulnerable, hence why we ask for your sponsorship today so that we can fully fund PDCs for refugees and poor farmers, who might otherwise never get this opportunity.

Our PDCs promote permaculture and regenerative agriculture practices among refugees and disadvantaged people to help them work towards a more sustainable livelihood. This PDC will help the most vulnerable understand that they have abilities and resources at their fingertips. These can be developed to improve their lives and impact their whole communities.

The majority of vulnerable small-scale farmers lack knowledge about sustainable and regenerative farming practices. When we equip them with permaculture knowledge they’re able to achieve better yields and improve their income.

We aim to train the trainers. That means we expect each attendee to go out and pay it forward, and train 10 others, thus multiplying the benefits for resilient and improved livelihoods among wider communities.

Funds you donate will help us buy organic seeds, tools to use during the training, pay tutors, pay trainers’ transport and accommodation, print out manual handouts, and certificates, and pay for food.

Part of the funds will go towards the completion of roofing for the chicken coop at Butambala Permaculture Learning Centre, which will safely house 1000 local chickens. The eggs will guarantee improved nutrition in the community, help generate income sustainably at the training centre, as well as provide jobs to community members working at the farm and egg sellers at the market.

Thank you so much for supporting us support those most vulnerable in our community. Please contribute today, even a small amount will help farmers attain a more sustainable livelihood.

Care of Earth, care of people and fair share are our core ethics. Visit our website for more information:

CLICK HERE TO sponsor a student TODAY

Other courses

We offer low-cost hands-on skill training and mentoring taught by experienced trainers. Our courses include:

Aquaponics (aquaculture) * Biochar making * Compost * Coppicing, pollarding and general pruning * Efficient clay stove making * Fermentation and canning (food preservation) * Natural beekeeping * Rainwater harvesting * Retrofit buildings * Seed saving * Other workshops

Graduates will be given certification and apprenticeships may be offered when they become available.

Aquaponics (aquaculture) course

Aquaponics is the keeping of fish and growing of vegetables in a closed-loop system. During this course, you will learn sustainable ways of using permaculture designs to apply aquaculture to specific places. You will learn about fingerlings, set up costs, how to produce fish food at home, different fish types, water sources for your fish, advanced technology in raising fish, foliar sprays, seedlings, fertilizers from filters, and be able to understand the output of aquaponics and economic value of aquaculture.


Biochar making course

Biochar is charcoal that is produced by pyrolysis of biomass (high temperature in the absence of oxygen). Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon and is used as a soil amendment. It can endure in soils for thousands of years.

Compost course

Compost is an important way to manage organic materials locally. At Butambala Permaculture Learning Centre we provide a variety of compost training and participants ranging from small-scale farming households, commercial farms, organizations, schools to communities are trained in all aspects of composting. After this course you will be able to manage solid waste ethically. This will include planning and site development, economics and operations, compost uses, market, compost methods and experience, using best practices.

Coppicing, pollarding and general pruning course

Pruning keeps trees healthy and strong and improves fruiting in future years. It can also provide you with a sustainable source of timber for years to come. This course teaches you the general concept of pruning:

  • when to do pruning
  • which types of fruit trees to prune
  • what makes pruning methods work
  • why do you prune
  • how to prune
  • which tools to use in pruning
  • wood management
  • tree grafting and
  • timber harvesting.

We also focus on coppicing and pollarding — two methods of wood pruning that allow us to continually harvest wood from the same trees while keeping them healthy for future generations. They produce a regenerative supply of timber and firewood while protecting the biodiversity of native ecologies and enhancing food for wildlife.

We teach the fundamentals of pruning, coppicing/pollarding in separate courses and at every PDC.

Eco rocket stove (superadobe and eco construction) course

A rocket stove uses less wood than other stoves, which reduces smoke and harmful emissions going into the atmosphere. During this course, you will learn how to use less trees in home heating, learn what low-cost materials make the most efficient briquette stove, learn about different designs of eco stoves and what ingredients to use.

Efficient clay stove making course

This course will provide you with the skills to make fuel-efficient stoves in rural and urban households. These locally made fuel-efficient stoves will help to conserve the remaining forests, reduce the amount of wood-fuel needed to cook with, thereby reducing carbon emissions, families will be provided with a cleaner cheaper and easy way of cooking. These wood-burning stoves can replace the traditional and inefficient three-stone hearth and can be sold in the marketplace, providing profitable conservation income for women.

Fermentation and canning (food preservation) course

Our fermentation and canning course embraces the seasonal rhythm of the food harvest by teaching techniques for preserving and canning. You will learn how to make jams, pickled vegetables, mustard, kombucha, yoghurt, and the difference between canning and fermentation of foods, why people use fermentation to preserve food, how to can food, best ways to ferment a vegetable, curing and smoking fish, how to make fruit leather among others.

Mulch & living soils — building drought resilience course

Organic mulching is the common practice of covering up soil with all kinds of organic or decomposing materials such as grass, straw, wood chips, compost, shredded paper, dry banana leaves, tree leaves, cover crops, crop residues among others. This course teaches you about mulch and soil management, soil basics (structure, nutrients, pH, how to feed, micro/macronutrients, biological life, and NPK), the economic value of mulches, and much more. Join us to learn about the numerous positive benefits that can lead to an increase in crop yield and create your own living vibrant, and drought-resilient soils.

Natural beekeeping course

The course covers the basics of natural, organic, biodynamic, smallscale and bee friendly beekeeping.

You will leave this course with a competent knowledge of the fundamentals of natural beekeeping (apiculture) and be ready to keep your own bees.

We focus on a style of apiculture that is exclusively designed for the small scale beekeeper in both urban and rural Uganda. This bee-friendly method aims to care for the bees, allow them to control their own environment and is a gentler approach than mainstream beekeeping, resulting in healthy contented bees and incredible wild honey. The course focuses at all times on the practical application of natural bee keeping, grounded in a thorough understanding and respect for the amazing biology of the honeybee superorganism. This course will cover indigenous, advanced ideas and techniques, relating specifically to indigenous log, grass, pot etc beekeeping and will solidify some of the knowledge you have already acquired through actively keeping bees. This course consists of 50% classroom learning and 50% hands-on learning the apiary. Students will have the opportunity to form small groups and interact practically with the logs, pots, grass etc on site.

Natural building techniques and green building technologies course

Understanding the climate and environment of the building site is essential to designing a building that is appropriate for it. In times of a climate crisis it is particularly important to learn about embodied carbon. On completing this course you will know how to build unique, eco-friendly, resilient, long lasting structures with local and abundantly available materials, from foundations to roofing materials. Our Natural Building Certificate will be awarded for attending a 2-week intensive workshop.

Permaculture Design Course Certificate (Butambala District, Uganda)

This classic 72-hour curriculum contains lots of theory and some hands-on experience plus design exercises in groups. This course is based in the Butambala District, Central Uganda. Topics include:

  • History and definition of permaculture
  • Ethics of permaculture
  • Design methodologies
  • Understanding patterns in nature, culture and society
  • Reading the hydrological cycle — observation
  • Land restoration techniques
  • Water harvesting
  • Greywater recycling
  • Natural building strategies
  • Cultivated and productive ecological gardens
  • Food forests and plant guilds
  • Energy conservation technologies and appropriate technology
  • Integrated pest management
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Forests and reforestation
  • Silvo pasture and much more.

Rainwater harvesting course

Rain harvesting is the collection and storage of rainwater. During this course, you will learn different ways – indigenous and modern – of collecting and storing water for future use. You’ll learn how rainwater harvesting is used in the real world, how to become a rainwater catchment system designer, watershed management, rainwater harvesting for drylands and beyond, and how to create an oasis with greywater. Through our unique combination of hands-on and classroom instruction, the course provides a thorough on the ground understanding of the core principles and adaptive practices which can be applied in a range of environments.

Retrofit buildings course

This course will give students basic ideas and techniques in relation to a traditional building.

Seed saving course

This 6-day educational course trains people from all walks of life to build local seed systems rooted in the indigenous tradition of seed saving. During this course, you will learn how to harvest seeds, what kind of seeds are good for seed savers, how long seeds last, how to keep seeds true to their type, the best way to collect seed pods, how to dry seeds, and how to start a seed bank.

Other workshops catering to your needs

We also provide shorter training workshops based on the needs of your community. Let us know your needs and we can cater a course just for you and your community.

For information on when courses run contact us.