Fruits are good for health, children, pregnant mothers and the sick stand to benefit from eating plenty of fruits.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables does wonders for family health.
For a longtime, fruit comprised an essential part of the rural family’s diet. Children freely ate as much fruit as they could without anybody raising a finger.
With a growing urban migration upon us, and even COVID-19 affecting the country in one way or the other depending on where they stand in society, there is a sudden rise in the percentage of the population that can no longer access the free fruit available for the asking in villages.
Fruit costs money. It is a difficult decision for many urban dwellers to vote with their wallets and allocate part of their domestic budget to fruit.
Twaha Kakooza, a farmer in Bubajjwe village, Kayunga district, says this is one reason why there is an excess of fruit in the city markets.
“A very small percentage of the almost two million people settled in the urban centres can afford to sacrifice their hard-earned money to buy fruit. Yet there are many reasons why we should all include fruit as part of the menu in the home”, he says.
Sharon Naluwende, a nutritionist at Mulago Hospital says fruits are 90-95 percent water, so they can provide some of the necessary fluid for the body. They are high in fibre and low in calories.
Most fruit is high in vitamin C which can decrease bad cholesterol. It also increases the availability of nitric oxide, which helps blood flow through the arteries more freely.
That is not all; vitamin C lowers the risk of blindness. And there is evidence that eating fruit helps prevent certain types of cancer.
Naluwende also says fruit also helps people with diabetes because it raises blood sugar less than other foods that contain carbohydrates.
The fibre content of fruit also helps slow the absorption of sugar into the blood. Enough of the health benefits
Despite the potential to make millions of shillings growing fruit, there are not many farmers who have invested in growing fruits on a large sustainable scale.
Farmers! This is virgin territory that you should seriously consider exploring.
Kakooza says that we live in the ideal kind of tropical climate that supports a variety of fruit with high profit-earning potential.
The benefits await the enterprising farmer. In addition, most fruit trees last for more than a lifetime when well-tended.
It is advisable for farmers intending to commit money to growing fruit to choose from a range of locally available fruits that do well in most parts of the country.
Currently there is a craze for fruit imported from Kenya, including fresh apples, grapes, berries among others. These are normally consumed by the big spenders in this city.
Farmers here should go in for growing mangoes, avocados, pears, bananas, oranges, paw-paw, jackfruit, lemon, passion fruit and sugarcane.
The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has developed many high quality varieties of these fruit that are now available to farming communities in several locations across the country.
There is no reason why you cannot make life better by growing these fruits for domestic consumption with any excess being offered for sale.