Friday, April 19, 2024
Home Agribusiness Local Seed Businesses Join To Promote New Groundnut Varieties

Local Seed Businesses Join To Promote New Groundnut Varieties

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By Prossy Nandudu and Joshua Kato

One such group is the Northern Uganda Local Seed Growers Association based in Amwoma sub-county Dokolo district. The group that is engaged into groundnut seed production. Angelus Ochen, the chairperson of the group explained that they get foundation seed from NaSARRI which they multiply among members.

The group is supervised by researchers and inspectors/extension workers from the Ministry of Agriculture in addition with officials from the National Seed Certification department.

“Whenever there is a new variety development in response to the market needs, they contact us, from the beginning of their research, through field trials until the seed is ready for to be released,” explained Ochen. 

He added that “We give them feedback on the performance of the groundnuts, they also demonstrate to us in our farm the right spacing, field management and when to harvest, dry and store such that we do produce the right seed,” said Ochen.

Of the 150 members in Ochen’s group, only 30 are engaged in seed production.

To produce seed, each member must have at least one acre and the entire group to have a total of 30 acres under seed production. From each acre, a member is expected to produce at least 15 bags of 100kgs at harvest, Ochen added.

To harvest 15 bags of ground nuts from one acre, a farmer needs 42 kilograms of unshelled ground nuts or 23kg of already shelled ground nuts.   

Ochen, who grows groundnuts on five acres every season, adds that the group chose seed production, after realising that the community had no clear source of seed.

He explained further, that using quality seed, a farmer can harvest 15 bags and more from one acre, with a bag going for sh300,000. Besides the money earned from the sale of seed, Ochen adds that groundnuts are nutritious, help in food security among others.

How does the group maintain seed quality?

Ochen explained that the groundnut seed garden is inspected before planting takes place. The inspection is done by the district agricultural officer, the ministry of agriculture the seed inspectorate.

When the groundnut seeds are produced, samples are taken to the laboratory and given a germination test.  

“Unfortunately, they delay to get us results and yet people want to buy the seed, you may miss the money as you wait for the result, that is the challenge were facing. Sometimes, when tested and a sample is passed, we have to wait for the label, because our seed is termed as Quality Declared Seed so we have to wait for the green label,” explained Ochen.

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