The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Indusrty and Fisheries through the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) programme, has provided a subsidy for Sembabule women farmers to benefit from grafted Hass avocado variety seedlings ahead of the wet season.
Harvest Money has learnt that the scheme has been rolled out in Sembabule and the neighbouring districts where women who plant Hass avocado will benefit from it with 70% of the seedlings’ cost subsidised under the NAADS programme.
The scheme that is being implemented under the Kanyisa Food Security Foundation will support women farmers with at least a quarter an acre of farmland and willing to foot 30% of the seedlings’ cost.
Each Hass avocado grafted seedling costs sh8,000- sh10,000 under certified nursery beds, a source at Kanyisa Hass Avocado Project (KHAP) demonstration farm at Kishekera in Lugusulu, Sembabule district, says.
Mawogola North MP Shartsi Kutesa is spearheading the mobilisation programme for the women farmers to embrace the planting of Hass avocados, a strategy she says will boost household incomes. On average, Hass avocados can fetch each farmer an annual income of between sh25msh30m per acre, according to Edith Kutesa, a prominent commercial Hass avocado farmer. can outcompete coffee “Hass avocado has the capacity to outcompete coffee if the farmer takes proper care of the trees and irrigating them during the dry season,” she said.
Kutesa advised the farmers to plant other crops, such as beans, soya and groundnuts. She noted that farmers growing Hass avocados must fence the farms to protect the trees against animals.
Kanyisa Food Security Foundation has committed to buying the Hass avocados from the farmers for local and export markets, including industrial processing. Under the project, the cultivation and production of fresh Hass avocado orchards sitting on 250 acres of land in Sembabule to train farmers and outgrowers has begun.
Close to 50 acres of Hass avocado have been planted, under KHAP, as a model for increased exports and the variety of avocado oil. The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Development (Microfinance), Haruna Kasolo, has given the women farmers sh12m chanelled through the Sembabule Women SACCOS.
Kasolo, who urged the women to embrace the Hass avocado outgrowers scheme, instructed the Microfinance Support Centre to avail a sh300m loan to empower the district women SACCOS at low interest rates. Kasolo met the women farmers during their SACCOS annual general meeting at the district headquarters on Monday.
“I’m going to start planting avocado on top of the 100 acres of coffee I have invested in on my farm. The Hass avocado variety has ready market,” he said.
Kasolo commended President Yoweri Museveni and former foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutesa, for contributing sh150m towards the Sembabule district women farmers SACCOS for their economic empowerment.
sh100m loan repaid
The SACCOS board chairperson, Victor Mayega, said the SACCOS had repaid the sh100m loan they got from Stanbic Bank. Mayega said the sh300m fund from the Micro Finance Support Centre would help the SACCOS to improve its loan capital base, adding that they had provided loans to over 200 women farmers.