Uganda’s strawberry mostly thrives in the west of the country under rain-fed systems. Although Uganda also produces export varieties, most farms have fresh subsistence types such as Selekta and Chandler.
John Baptist Muhumuza, a strawberry farmer from Rubirizi, says the crop is very nutritious and can be used in making jams, making juices and has a high level of antioxidants known as polyphenols good in fighting cancer.
“Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and contain decent amounts of folate and potassium. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and plant compounds which may have benefits for the heart health and blood sugar control,” he says.
Strawberries are grown in a few parts of the country because the requirements for its growth are hard to maintain for most farmers.
The soil should be slightly acidic between 5-6 pH, because above this, there will be no good production.
Soils should be well-drained and you may want to increase or add a bit of sand to increase soil drainage.
The crop needs to be well hydrated, meaning there has to be a good constant source of water.
When irrigating, drip irrigation is advisable because it provides the exact amount of water the crop needs and does not over wet the soils. If the soil is over-wetted, it gives room for diseases and pests.
It should be between22-28c. The crop thrives in a good temperature and cannot stand cold. Cold leads to hibernation and the crop will go into dormancy. Strawberries need as much sunlight as possible for proper and high yields.
The crop does not require shade, so growing it in an open space is fine because it allows it receive enough sunlight as possible.
However, shade netting protects the crop from being attacked by birds.