Breaking

High Yielding Orange Fresh Sweet Potato introduced in Kiboga

This is part of a new initiative that is encouraging farmers to participate in seed multiplication and growing of Orange Fresh Sweet Potatoes, a special type of biofortified potato famed for high and fast-maturing yields and addressing vitamin-A deficiencies.
Kiboga District Woman MP, Ms Christine Kaaya holding seedlings at the launch of orange fresh sweet potato growing in Kiboga
Farmers in Kiboga District now have a new opportunity to produce high yielding Orange Fresh Sweet Potatoes to boost food security, enjoy a wider market for their produce, and boost their immunity.

This is part of a new initiative that is encouraging farmers to participate in seed multiplication and growing of Orange Fresh Sweet Potatoes, a special type of biofortified potato famed for high and fast-maturing yields and addressing vitamin-A deficiencies. Lack of vitamin A impedes children’s growth, increases their vulnerability to disease, and contributes to poor immune function and maternal mortality. 

Kiboga Woman Member of Parliament Christine Kaaya Nakimwero said that under the arrangement, farmers, especially women who are charged with the primary role of taking care of the households, will be trained on the methods of growing and multiplying the seedlings for the market and for their own gardens. 

Kaaya, in partnership with Jomozi Farmers’ Support Association, is implementing the programme that has started in four sub-counties before spreading to other districts. She said that the crop is beneficial for food and vegetables for domestic consumption and that with it farmers can start selling seedlings within two months.

“Once multiplied, the farmer begins to earn from the sale of seedlings. But when they grow for food, they eat and sell the surplus and there is an opportunity for value addition because this very orange sweet potato can be used for flour, juice, crisps and other items for the market,” she said.

Kaaya says that the growth of Orange Fresh Sweet Potatoes gives the farmers an opportunity to increase their sources of income. According to Kaaya, a quarter acre of land can produce 14 bags of seedlings in two months where each bag costs between 5000 to 7000 Shillings. 

John Hope Lubega, the Programme Coordinator for Jomozi Farmers’ Support Association described the growth of Orange Fresh Sweet Potatoes as a strategy to fight poverty saying that a farmer uses the same garden to produce for the home as well for the market. 

“The uniqueness with this crop is that orange fresh sweet potato supports food security in a home but it is a cash crop that farmers must highly consider in addition to others. Every three months, you are harvesting food but every two months, you are selling seedlings from the same garden,” he said.  

According to Lubega, the association and the MP signed a five-year agreement to support the farmers in Kiboga with a view of promoting the crop and better farming methods. He asked the farmers to desist from undermining farming but instead work to change their status in terms of health and income generation. 

James Agaba, a farmer in Kalagala Village in Bukomero Town Council welcomed the idea saying that the initiative has come at the right time of planting. “It is about innovation and I believe that this programme will increase our earnings but more so, through this training, we shall get knowledge on new methods of farming,” said Agaba also a District Councilor representing Bukomero Town Council.