Basil (Omujaaja) is a money-making crop with a great market abroad, mainly known for its aroma and medicinal benefits.
Prof. William Bazeyo, the director of Orchids House Farm Ltd, a demonstration farm located in Kikangula village, Nakasongola district, explains that this crop is a warm weather herb and is tolerant to dry conditions. The herb requires about 6-8 hours of intense sunlight per day to grow well.
“It is grown at a temperature of more than 50°F. Therefore, it is grown in greenhouses. Basil thrives in rich soils, with proper soil aeration. The seedlings grow within two weeks,” he says.
Bazeyo adds that when the basil has more than five leaves, it can be transplanted. Seedlings should be given enough space to grow well.
He says basil requires to be watered regularly for it to thrive, but he cautions that too much water is not good for the plant.
“That is why in all my greenhouses where I grow basil, I have installed drip irrigation, which is set automatically so that the water flows consistently, but in small quantities.
The watering is also at the roots to avoid wetting the leaves and stalks, which can cause fungal diseases,” he says, adding that basil is packed and exported to the Netherlands.