By Umar Nsubuga
Farmers in parts of Luwero have now formed groups to ‘organise’ their farming. Denis Kibuuka, the team leader, says they are running almost 12 groups, each comprising 40 members.
In areas such as Nalusugga village, there are four farmer groups. Kibuuka says the project is promising because farmers have a ready market. He says farming groups will help them easily supply larger markets, such as South Sudan and to acquire basic equipment such as sprayers.
One of the group members is Agnes Makula. Years ago, she kept cows. However, Makula abandoned dairy farming and joined vegetable growing.
“I supply the local markets with vegetables such as onions, eggplants and tomatoes,” she says. Other than the open field vegetable growing, she has over 10 sacks filled with soil, where she grows the vegetables.
Her records indicate that last season; she was able to achieve total sales of more than sh2m. For Agnes, Segujja and other farmers in the ‘vegetable belt’, they may not have physically entered the ‘big houses’ in the affluent suburbs, but they are sure that their vegetables have represented them at the tables in these houses.
Maintaining the seedlings
In regard to obtaining seeds for planting, Lugoba says they let the peppers to grow until they produce seed which we process and use them for the next planting season but sometimes we go to purchase from fellow farmers.
In the market, we make some good sales. On a good day, like during the dry season a bag of 50kg is sold at sh70, 000 but on other days it may go for about sh25,000 to sh30,000.
Currently, in one year I am able to earn sh4m although part of it is used for payment of labourers, purchase of manure and sometimes seed, because with green pepper
Apart from the land some farmers rent, some own their owner land on which they grow banana, beans, maize and sweet potatoes among others.
According to Lugoba the main challenge they face is pest infestation and sometimes fail to identify a particular pest, they usually approach researchers at the National Crop Resources Research Institute in Namulonge.