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What Do I Need To Grow Barley?

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Barley is one of the cash crops in Uganda. Barley leaves can be used as animal fodder.

It can also be used as malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, as well as a component of various health foods.


Barley is a widely adaptable crop. In Uganda, it is grown in the Sebei region and Kabale district. It may be planted in rows like wheat.

It takes one to three days to germinate and grows under cool conditions. It takes between 90 to 120 days to mature, depending on the variety.

It is more tolerant of soil salinity than wheat and has a short-growing season. Barley is also relatively drought-tolerant.


This plant is known or likely to be susceptible to barley mild mosaic, as well as bacterial blight. It can be susceptible to many diseases, but plant breeders have been working hard to incorporate resistance.

Diseases that affect barley include powdery mildew caused by blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei and leaf scald caused by rhynchosporium secalis.

Others are barley rust caused by puccinia hordei and various diseases caused by Cochliobolus sativus.

Barley is also susceptible to head blight.

Animal feed

Barley can be used as animal feed, right from the leaves to the actual cereal.  It is an important feed grain in many areas of the world.

Compared to other feeds, barley has more protein, carbohydrates, fat and for animals.

Alcoholic beverages

When it was introduced in Uganda, barley was mainly used in brewing beer.

The cereal is taken through an elaborate fermentation process that leads to the production of malt lager. It can also be used for making other alcoholic drinks.

Non–alcoholic beverages

Non–alcoholic drinks such as barley water and barley tea have been made by boiling barley in water.

In Italy, barley is also sometimes used as coffee substitute, which is obtained from ground, roasted barley and it is prepared as an espresso.

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