Farmers in 10 Ugandan districts have embraced growing two unique high-yielding, lucrative bean varieties which are changing their lives.
The mungo bean and the red noodle bean varieties are being promoted to reduce hunger and poverty levels, in addition to feeding people in refugee camps.
The practising farmers are over 200 across the country.
The beans mature in 90 days, with a kilo of seeds yielding 30-35 kilos at harvest.
The farm-gate price is sh7,000 per kilo, which translates to sh700,000 per 100kg bag with the promoters as the ready buyers.
The price for other varieties is between sh2,200 and sh2,500 per kilo.
In an acre, the mungo beans yields about 1.2 tonnes, the noodle beans 2.3 tonnes, while okra, popularly known as the “African lady finger,” yields 2.3 tonnes.
The mungo bean is being promoted alongside the improved okra, whose farm-gate price is sh6,000.
The pilot project is being promoted by Seeds for Souls East Africa(SFSEA) in conjunction with the Lutheran Church of Uganda.
The mission of the project, according to Rev Raymond Kaija, the SFSEA executive director, is to ensure food security, reduce hunger and poverty levels in Uganda, East and Central Africa.
The produce is then passed to refugee camps in western and northern Uganda.
The palatable beans, Kaija says, are saturated with vitamin A and K for better human health.
On kilo of mungo beans amid proper management earns the farmer between 30-35kg.
With a kilo costing sh7,000, one bags between sh200,000 and sh230,000.
George Bagala, 60, a farmer from Buwaiswa-Butadiba in Northern division, Kamuli municipality in Kamuli district, is one of the living examples.
“The promoters gave me ½ a kilo. I harvested in September. From the 14kg, I earned sh98,000,” Bagala told Harvest Money.
Bagala added that the earnings were higher than those from the varieties he has grown over the years.
He added that he used the money to buy a female piglet he projects to produce 10-13 piglets per.
“With the 10-13 piglets every 4 months, I am up for sweet money, courtesy of the mungo beans,” Bagala said.
Edisa Kiiza, 42, another farmer from Buwaiswa-Butadiba, also testified.
“I received ½ a kilo, which yielded 13kg. The bean doubles as a hunger and poverty fighting crop,” Kiiza said.
In Busia district, Rogers Baraza, a resident of Gangu village in Majanji sub-county, earned shsh420,000 this season.
The lucrative prices have sent many farmers jostling for the seeds, which will translate to future accelerated production.