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Master Class: Experts To Teach How To Make Cash From Vegetables

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Herbert Musoke and Joshua Kato

The long awaited Harvest Money master class is tomorrow at AVAIL Fruits of Faith farm at Magere in Wakiso district.

Farmers will be tipped on how to make money from vegetable growing. The master class is organised by Vision Group in partnership with the Netherlands embassy to equip farmers and those interested in vegetable farming business with practical knowledge and skills in both backyard and commercial vegetable farming.

The training kicks off at 9:00am and ends at 3:00pm.

Vegetables that include leafy crops like nakati, amaranthas, cabbages, lettuce, etc plus bulbs like eggplants, onions, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are sold across all markets in the country every day, because they are very important part of the daily menu.

For many farmers, they offer a regular income. In Uganda, vegetables are produced nearly in every region, including Karamoja. However, the greater Luwero, Wakiso, Mpigi and Kayunga belts produce most of the vegetables consumed in Kampala and beyond.

While parts of the east, especially along the River Mpologoma confluence, produce vegetables that are exported to Kenya.

“Most of the vegetables are sold locally but we also export, especially peppers to Europe and Asia,” Joseph Male, a farmer and consultant and owner of Avail Fruits of Faith Farm, says.

It is because of the significance of vegetables that Vision Group has organised this master class.

“As Vision Group, we have been organising these master classes in collaboration with the best farmers who give practical skills training to the farmers to change from the ordinary way of doing things to the professional way that can maximise production and profitability,” Fiona Tamale, the events manager at Vision Group, said.

She stressed that the master class is free and will be facilitated by experts to give practical expert training to farmers which will enable everyone to change the way they have been doing things.

Joseph Male, the director of AVAIL Fruits of Faith farm and a winner of the best farmer competition in 2019, is optimistic that everyone who will attend the training will not leave as they came because there will be a lot to learn.

Male, a professional agriculturalist, has over 10 years experience in growing vegetables and training vegetable farmers.

In June, he was among the farmers who travelled to the Netherlands and visited Tomato World and the Horti-centre in the Netherlands.

“At AVAIL Fruits of Faith farm, we have a group of experts who will take you through all the steps along the vegetable production value chain, from the seeds to the market to understand the science and economics of vegetable growing business,” Male said.

Experts

Male explains that participants will be divided into groups to give everyone a chance to interact with the trainer and have their questions answered.

Business overview

The training will be opened with an overview of vegetable growing business.

Here, experts will give farmers what it takes to grow tomato, green and sweet pepper and lettuce, among others.

“The idea of growing vegetables starts in one’s mind, there after the body starts putting it in practice. However, many farmers make the wrong choices of crops or even varieties. This session will tackle those issues,” Male says.

Crop development

The session will be led by Joshua Cissy and will take participants through the best agronomic practices that will keep the crops healthy for better yield production.

“This is a critical stage of the production cycle. It is where farmers become frustrated after their crops are attacked by diseases, but they do not know what to do,” Male says.

Crop production

This session is going to be led by Mike Ssali, who will take farmers through the proper use of chemicals, withdraw period and the types of chemicals allowed and those banned for healthy produce.

“You realise that most farmers use chemicals badly and at the wrong periods which makes vegetables dangerous. This will be tackled during the training,” Male says.

Water for production

Today it is hard for a farmer to rely on nature to produce vegetables all year round. This, therefore, calls for irrigation as an alternative. The session will give farmers the simple irrigation technologies that will help them stay afloat in the business.

“We have an irrigation system at our farm and we shall use it as a basis for this training,” Male says.

Farming environment

This session will be managed by Joseph Male and Martha Ndyamuhaki to tip farmers in what everyone needs to know about greenhouse farming.

Here you will learn the best seed varieties, the best practices, how to maximise production and productivity for high incomes using a greenhouse.

“With the increasing land fragmentation and increasing population, the green house is the way to go. However, to those who wish to join vegetable farming in a green house, we will show them how they can have a greenhouse using local materials and will cost about sh15m, yet the metallic imported ones will cost about sh35m and above,” he says.

Direction

To reach the farm if you are coming from Kampala, drive up to Luteete on Gayaza road and turn to your right towards Magere village. Follow the sign posts until you reach the farm. It is just about 1km from Luteete, as shown on the map besides. Or contact: 0708092355 or 0789353585 for more inquiries.

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