Busiro North which includes Sub Counties of Kakiri, Masulita and Namuyuma is known to have vast pieces of land much of which lie idol although it’s occupants are hard hit with poverty. The area with fertile soils is part of the Luweero Triangle which was greatly affected by the 1980 bush war and for the last thirty years, the area has remained almost less productive with residents blaming all their misfortunes to the war.
Several subsistence farmers in Busiro
North Constituency in Wakiso Districts are gearing towards joining
efforts to grow sweet potatoes to satisfy the growing demand for
livestock products and to raise incomes by generating additional
value-added through processing.
Busiro North which
includes Sub Counties of Kakiri, Masuulita and Namuyumba is known to have
vast pieces of land much of which lie idle although it’s occupants are
hard hit with poverty.
The area with
fertile soils is part of the Luweero Triangle which was greatly affected
by the 1980 bush war and for the last thirty years, the area has
remained almost less productive with residents blaming all their
misfortunes to the war.
Now, Michael Lubulwa, the Wakiso
District Production Officer, shares that the district working closely
with Universal Initiatives Development Organization has embarked on
mobilizing community members, regardless of the size of the land they
own, to grow sweet potatoes which will be collected in a pool before
processing into forage.
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says that currently the cost of balancing domestic demand for livestock
products with feed or livestock imports has become prohibitively
expensive which gives farmers a chance to use sweet potatoes as animal
feeds and make some money.
The production officer further
explains that besides the renowned silage that can be made out of
potatoes vines, which is highly needed by livestock farmers, the roots
are also used in making pellets. He explains that although sweet
potatoes are the third largely grown food crop, farmers should stop
growing it for mainly home food production.
He adds that a
few families in the area have already been growing a few potatoes in
their gardens which at times could rot during the process of looking for
market thus the project will help them to throw away all worries of the
Nelson Kazima Mweru, the potato enterprise technical
advisor, notes that they have already initiated over 200 families each
with at least one acre of land where they can grow the food crop.
is not easy for one farmer in this area to produce commercially viable
tonnes of potatoes required for processing. We are still sensitizing
more people by showing them the benefit of coming to together,” says
Mweru adding that they have already been assured of ready markets of
their animal feeds in Kenya. He, however, adds that even before thinking
of the Kenyan market, there is already a wide local market.
in Kakiri are optimistic that the initiative will yield results.
Justine Namubiru says that growing a crop with the availability of a
ready market is the joy of farmer. She likens the initiative to farmers’
cooperatives as they used to function in the 1960s and ’70s.
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attests that they have undergone some training on how best to grow the
crop and how to handle it after harvesting. According to her, they are
just waiting for the next rain season.
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Galabuzi, the Wakiso District Planner, says the district is also
looking for several farmers in the same project who own larger pieces of
land so that they help them acquire solar-powered irrigation units. He
says that the district has a number of development partners who would
like to offer support as an effort of changing the mindset of farmers.
is already a good venture but needs constant production, they cannot
deepen on rainwater which is received just two seasons in a year. With
irrigation, production will be flowing all year through. The only
problem is that their might a few of them who having lad where
irrigation can be applicable,” says Galabuzi.
Ssegamwegwe, the Operation Wealth Creation coordinator in Wakiso
District, observes that they are also ready to support the initiative by
supplying inputs. How however he points out that this will be done only
if there is a good number of farmers who have decided to grow the crop.