Hillsborough Businessman Treks Volcano For Farm Africa

Senior managers are taking on Mount Elgon to tackle poverty in Eastern Africa.

County Down businessman Alan Gibson, Chief Commercial Officer at Devenish, along with 12 other leading food industry figures will leave the UK to face a gruelling seven-day hike up and across Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano that straddles the Uganda-Kenya border, to raise funds for the international charity Farm Africa.

Alan, who lives in Hillsborough, is flying out to take part in the Mount Elgon trek on Friday 26 January. Along the way, Alan will visit Farm Africa projects in both Uganda and Kenya to see first-hand how the money they raise will positively impact the lives of farming families in eastern Africa.

Sweet potatoes gown on the Uganda-Kenya border.

Alan Gibson said: “Trekking across Mount Elgon is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. I am proud to be raising money for Farm Africa, whose incredible work supporting farmers in eastern Africa will provide me with the determination to conquer Mount Elgon.”

Upon arrival, the group will travel to Teso sub-region in eastern Uganda to visit Farm Africa’s Sweet potatoes for prosperity project. The food industry experts will meet local farmers working with Farm Africa, and gain an insight into how the organisation is helping local people earn more from their agricultural efforts through improved production, post-harvest handling and marketing of vitamin A rich orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.

The group will then embark on the seven-day hike up Mount Elgon. The 100-kilometre route, which will has never been walked before, will take them through thick montane forest, into deep gorges and up the mountain’s four peaks and into Kenya. The trek will be mentally and physically challenging, with the team sleeping in tents along the way, carrying heavy bags and walking at high altitudes. Between them, the team aims to raise £100,000 for Farm Africa.

To wrap up their trip, the team will visit Farm Africa’s Growing Futures project. The visit will enable Alan Gibson to personally meet some of the young farmers who are being given support to develop profitable horticulture businesses, and see the difference the project is making to their lives.

Stefanie Pfeil, Farm Africa’s Director of External Relations, added: “We’re thrilled to have the dedicated support of the UK food industry for Farm Africa’s work bringing long-lasting change for farmers in eastern Africa. I extend our heartfelt thanks to all the trekkers for taking on such a gruelling challenge to raise funds to help smallholder farmers grow more, sell more and sell for more, while protecting the environment for generations to come.”