Residents of Bulyasi village Najjembe Sub County in Buikwe
District have rejected Operation Wealth Creation-OWC inputs in preference to
growing Khart alias Mairungi.
OWC had prepared to supply two truckloads of
coffee seedlings and pineapple suckers to residents of Bulyasi, which is about
4 kilometers off Kampala-Jinja highway.
However, residents rejected the inputs and instead advised OWC officials to supply the seedlings to other local councils in the
Bulyasi is full of Mairungi gardens, which are intercropped with
Sulait Mudooba, a resident of Bulyasi Village
explains that they give priority to Khart growing because it is more productive
compared to any other crop including coffee.
He reveals that residents have
been cutting their coffee plantations in the past ten years while replacing
them with Khart.
//Cue in: “Era bweguba gwabaze…
Cue out: …nawano bubiri”//
“Its yields are compared to coffee, the
difference is that harvesting in khart plantation is not bound to seasons, at
least every month you can do harvesting three times and at this time one
pockets between shillings 500, 000 to 1 million. Whoever has eaten money from
khart it becomes easy for him to put down coffee plant in favor of growing khart
since the more you harvest from it the more it yields,” he said.
Annet Namugga, a single mother grows khart on
four acres of land. She says coffee is none-resistant to diseases unlike khart,
which is rarely affected by diseases.
Namugga wonders how she would be in position to
take her children to school by growing coffee and pineapples whose harvest is
//Cue in: “Kasita gatuuka e…
Cue out: …obukowukowu webukoma”//
“At six months you begin pruning and by the time
they get to two years one is already earning real money. During the dry season
khart is more expensive than in the wet season. People take it since it heals
dozing and fatigue,” she said.
The area LC I Chairperson, John Lubega, says over 300
families are involved in growing khart and are proud of its benefits.
//Cue in: “Amayirungi abantu bangi…
Cue out: …banoga lwagulo”//
“So many people are gaining wealth through khart growing,
educated their children, bought land and succeeded in setting up real estates
in big towns. It has contributed to less crime among youths who spend most of
their time working in khart gardens as casual labourers to get money,” he said.
Lt. Colonel Sulaiman Kabambali, the Cordinator OWC in Buikwe
District condemns residents for rejecting the inputs, saying coffee and
pineapples are trusted crops, which every farmer would wish to grow.
Khart is a narcotic plant, which the government can prohibit farmers from
Helen Butoto, the Ssezibwa Region Police Spokesperson notes
that a number of people are involved in Khart growing in the district.
they always sensitize local leaders to ensure the plant is handled responsibly
to avoid causing criminality in the area.
Khart is grown in different parts of the country
including Kasenge in Wakiso district, Butambala and Karamoja.
Its leaves are chewed
by mainly youths. About two years ago, parliament tried to outlaw the growth of
Khart in vain.
The Butambala county MP, Muwanga Kivumbi put up a spirited fight
forcing parliament to leave the regulation of the parliament in the hands of
the Internal Affairs Minister.