The Boones are looking to own and operate an agricultural business called Boone Gardens. High Desert Agriculture would be an arm of our business which seeks to assist the Karimojong in their resettlement through training, organizing coops and providing a market to sell quality, high desert agricultural products like sunflowers and peanuts.
Extending market opportunities to the Karimojong is part of our long-term goal and, if taken advantage of, would symbolize healthy signs of resettlement. On the other hand, perpetual subsidies will keep the Karimojong from rooting deeply. Eventually subsidies dry up and leave them in crisis. Our hope is to offer business opportunities sustained by market forces and profitability that stimulate economic growth and deep rootedness.
While money is important, agricultural coops would offer far more than just economic opportunity. When operated well it can serve as a healthy filter encouraging dignified relationships which are based on hard work and pride of ownership. And it empowers decision making and reinforces community relationships. It's also an opportunity to exemplify fairness to small scale farmers who are taken advantage of by town brokers, receiving less than 12% of the product's retail value.
To our knowledge, there isn't a single agricultural cooperation in the area. The Karimojong are traditionally pastoralists and have limited agricultural knowledge or experience. Also, the high desert environment creates significant challenges that, when not addressed properly, cause total loss of crops. This requires a breakthrough with Karimojong who are often prideful about remaining in the ways of their ancestors. If we are able to connect with people willing to adapt to new ways, our business will come alongside organizations like our own Equip International to encourage wholistic agricultural endeavors and farming systems and to provide practical hands-on training relevant to culture and environment.