When Steven Ssekamanya sees a tree seedling, he sees money. This is why he has turned grafting tree seedlings as his major business, using a very small piece of space that under normal circumstances can otherwise be neglected. Ssekamanya is the manager of a successful tree seedlings project in Semuto.
Sekamanya run a tree nursery project in Wakasenke Semuto town council.
He says tree grafting, though a largely backyard enterprise since it needs minor space earns well. “We have stocked many seedlings of pine, avocado, mangoes, oranges and flowers. When you have all this it really pays”, Sekamanya says.
Ssekamanya saw gold in trees at an early age. He then aspired to achieve this dream. He sought for more knowledge about trees and hence, he was trained at VI Agro Forestry in Masaka.
How to graft trees
Grafting trees is as easy as ABC for those who have acquired the knowledge.
-However these tender, young trees need so much care or else they die. “You need to plant them in fertile soils, most especially black loam soils,” he says.
-The fertile soils are stocked into polythene bags before the grafted seedling is planted there.
-Water is a key component of this project since you need to water the seedlings regularly, without which they will die.
Pest and disease control is a constant challenge in the nursery. “We still lack a training centre to teach our people in the area. There are many people who don’t like this nursery seedling business, yet it is a profitable,” he says.