When Twaha Kakooza sees medicinal herbs in a garden, he sees money. This is why he has made a nursery bed for every type of herbs of he has.
He is considering it a major business, using a very small piece of land .
Kakooza is the owner of the medicinal herb project called Shatwa Mixed Farm in Bubwejje village, Kayunga district.
He is among the leading medicinal herb farmers in Kayunga district and runs the nursery bed projects in the district.
Kakooza says medicinal herbs are on high demand but Ugandans don’t want to research.
“We have stocked many different types of medicinal seedlings such as Eupatoriumm perfoliatum, Curum Carvi, Nepata Cataria, Matricaria Chamomilla, Agnus castus, Stellaria media, Agropyron repens, Taraxacum officinale, Anetrum graveolens ,Centrella Asiatica, Lavendula officinalis, Rosmarinus officinalis among others. When you have all this, it really pays,” said Kakooza.
Several farmers in Bubwajje village and Kayunga district have benefited from medicinal herbs, which have been successfully developed by Shatwa mixed farm.
Kakooza saw gold in medicinal herbs when he was in South Africa.
He then aspired to achieve this dream. He sought for more knowledge about medicinal herbs and hence, he was trained in South Africa.
Currently, this project has almost 120 types of medicinal herbs.
This nursery project also supplies other different tree seedlings like eucalyptus, mangoes and passion fruit seedlings.
“The average price for these seedlings both medicinal and trees is between sh2, 000 and sh5, 000 and we sell to both individuals and local governments officials,” said Kakooza.
Impact of the project
Kakooza`s project trains many farmers from different areas of Kayunga district and other parts of the country and at the moment, many of them are practicing tree seedlings growing as backyard business.
“We want to train our farmers such that they don’t make losses. We advise them to stop lamenting about unemployment and instead start such projecst because they’re profitable,” he noted.
The project teaches those with knowledge on farming and even those who are just starting farming.
Gladys Nabuma was trained by the project and she currently works with the nursery project.
How to start
When you are determined is as easy as ABC for those who have acquired the knowledge.
However these medicinal herbs need so much care and research. “You need to plant them in fertile soils, most especially black loam soils,” Kakooza said.
The fertile soils are stocked into polythene bags before the grafted seedling is planted.
Water is the key component of this project since you need to water the seedlings regularly.
Pest and disease control is a constant challenge in the nursery project.
“We still lack a number of people to get knowledge on medicinal herbs. There are many people who don’t like this nursery seedling business, yet it is a profitable,” Kakooza noted.