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Carrot; A Vegetable Important In Many Ways Than One

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Carrot is one of the healthiest vegetables yet one of the least grown in the country.

According to Irene Nakitto, a nutritionist in Kampala, carrots are rich in Vitamin A which is good for improving eyesight.

She adds that this vegetable is capable of protecting the body against cancer of prostate and leukemia due to the carotene it contains.

Nakitto advises smokers to eat a lot of carrots so as to decrease the risk of contracting lung cancer.

The vegetable also protects against heart disease, sun damage and aging with the antioxidants it possesses.

According to Nakitto, carrots also stimulate healthy gum and scrape plaque off the teeth, and the minerals within to prevent cavities.

With all the health benefits carrots have, few people in Uganda grow it.

On the Ugandan market, carrots are usually imported from Kenya and Rwanda. Traders though say rains make transportation of the vegetable hard due to the slippery roads.

According to Peter Musoke, “a sack of carrots costs between sh150,000 to sh180,000 at Kalerwe market”.

A basket of carrots ranges between sh10,000 to sh50,000 depending on the basket size.

When buying in small quantities, six small carrots cost sh1, 000 and big ones go for sh2, 000 at Nakasero market.

How to grow carrots

Dig shallow drills around 2-3cm deep on a sunny dry day and sow the seeds thinly.

You can mix the seeds with handful of sharp sand and then sow seeds with the sand.

After sowing, cover the seeds with soil and then gently firm the surface.

The soil should be kept moist for at least the first 10 days because they take longer to germinate.

When the seeds have germinated and start showing their first true leaves, thin the seedlings to 5cm or two inches between plants.

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