Matooke is no doubt the staple food for many parts of Uganda, especially the Central and the West.
However, while prices are generally affordable to consumers through most parts of the country, they sometimes go up and keep off many of the consumers. Urbanites with some small spaces can actually grow their own matooke. So, during the 2021 Harvest Money expo training sessions, banana training will come second, on Tuesday, April 6.
One of the topics will focus on how urbanites can grow their matooke in the small spaces at home. The training will kick off at 9:00am.
“A family of 6 people at home requires 20 plants to sustain them throughout the year,” says Washington Mugerwa. Mugerwa does not only grow bananas on a demonstration farm in Bwerenga, Kawuku off Entebbe road, but he is also a consultant on matooke growing.
Mugerwa explains that the 20 plants can produce at least 60 bunches per year. Mugerwa says that an average family consumes one bunch per week.
“A year has got 52 weeks which means that the family has got even an extra eight bunches to sell off,” he says. Mugerwa says that even if a family lives on a 50×50 plot of land, there is enough space left not only to plant the 20 matooke plants but also grow other things. “Rather than plant flowers, use these small spots to grow things that you can eat.
Matooke is one of them,” he says. He says that plantlets are readily available depending on one’s choice. “You can buy the small tissue culture suckers at an average sh2,500 each or buy ordinary suckers at sh1,000.
“The advantage with the tissue culture suckers is that they are disease-free and actually grow faster,” he says.
How to grow matooke
The ideal plant spacing to archive medium-sized bunches in the four rainfall zones in Uganda differs. The dry zones that receive less than 1,000mm per annum should have spacing of three metres by three metres. In other areas, farmers can plant using 2×2 spacing, with pits dug at least to 3feet deep. They start yielding after a year.