Category Archives: Agriculture

On Agriculture and farming in general.

Irrigation!! What President Museveni’s Government needs to do

If there is one thing that I admire about President Museveni, it’s the simplicity with which he occasionally approaches issues. Months back, he appeared in the media advocating for irrigation using bicycles, jerrycans, plastic mineral water bottles and other non complex methods. His assurance was that as a nation, we needed to embrace irrigation if we are to combat the rampant crop failure year in year out as a result of over reliance on rain fed agriculture.

Drip Irrigation

President Museveni demonstrating drip irrigation at the Kityerela Presidential Demo Farm, Mayuge.

The stand he took however created a backlash on social media with the elite filled platforms criticising his efforts as falling short while baptising them by coining a new term called jerrygation. I am a small scale (largely subsistence) farmer who has never achieved even 50% of the recommended production potential each time I have grown beans, maize and groundnuts. I clearly know that the rain patterns have affected me big time. This experience led me into seriously concluding that irrigation is a pre-requisite to the future of farming in Uganda. In the Doho Rice scheme where I have well irrigated fields, I never make a loss and my production is always spot on.

In defense of President Museveni’s jerrygation, what Uganda’s farmer needs today is a consistent supply of water to be used to grow their crops. While the problem and solution have been well identified, a big gap remains when it comes to turning the solution (in this case, irrigation) into a reality.

Mr President, your demonstration farms are staffed with people who are paid a salary and have it as their job to be around day in, day out to pour water into bottles with the aim of ensuring that drip irrigation is a success. The rural farmer has no where near the resources your demonstration farms boast of. However, this does not mean that they cannot try to emulate you.

Simply put, irrigation is the application of water to plants. It requires two key things; one is, access to a water source and the other is water distribution to the garden.

While Uganda is a small country, it has different geological characteristics as you traverse it. This has an implication on what one can grow and how irrigation can best be undertaken. Parts of the country are hilly, like the West as you near the DRC border, East at the border with Kenya, while others are flat like the near East (Busoga / Bukedi), North East (Teso and Karamoja Sub Regions) as well as the North.

The crops grown across the country vary too. From the largely cereal crop base in Northern Uganda to vegetables in the South and South Western part of the country, Sugarcanes in the East and tea in the West.

All these variations have an implication on the kind of irrigation that can be undertaken, hence the approach of one size fits all not being feasible.

In order to achieve the wider goal of irrigation fed agriculture in this country, the government is going to have to among others do the following;

Zone the Country

The country has to be zoned in a manner that brings together locations with similar irrigation requirements to make it easy for eventual service provision. This zoning is also likely to help the professionals focus on addressing farmers’ water challenges with a better appreciation of the local status-quo.

Deployment of appropriate technology

Due to the variations mentioned earlier, the different areas of the country shall need varying technologies in order to have successful irrigation installations. Some of the details to be looked into while planning this are;

  • Water: Is the source of this water, surface or ground? What is its quantity, availability, flow rate and quality? An example is water that is highly saline cannot work well with sprinkler irrigation.

  • Soil: Soil texture determines its water retention capacity, permeability and transmissivity. This is very important as it determines intervals between irrigation. Permeability in particular plays an important role in surface design and sprinklers.

  • Crops: Different crops demand different watering approaches. A good number of vegetables dislike overhead water application as it tends to make them more susceptible to disease attack when their leaves are continuously wet hence the preference for a drip approach concentrated near the roots. Sugarcanes can do well with overhead as well as surface irrigation.

  • Location: Structures used in establishing the irrigation system should be able to withstand the various environmental hazards like wind, temperature, rains among others.

These and many others need to be well synthesised.

Pilot the deployment

In each set zone, there shall be a need to initially set up pilot installations in order to learn from the anticipated successes and failures. This shall have the net effect of reducing on the White Elephant approach of most government projects that display gross optimism at the start only to end up in a miserable state shortly after.

Set up a National Irrigation Authority

The current approach of letting farmers individually come up with irrigation solutions for their farms is only feasible for the big players. That small farmer with one or three acres of land might not have the resource base to undertake the infrastructural requirements.

Just like we have the National Water and Sewerage Corporation which is responsible for supplying water to homes, we need to set up a National Irrigation Authority which will be tasked with investing in the infrastructure required to ensure that different farming zones have irrigation water systems in place ready to be tapped by farmers at the last mile. This is akin to the current state of affairs where anyone setting up a house can just tap from pre-existing National Water infrastructure to get water.

This authority can then through the employment of professionals address the gaps in the current haphazard crusade aimed at promoting irrigation.

Why do I think this authority can work? Taking a look at the Doho Rice Scheme where I am a rice farmer, the Government invested in the irrigation infrastructure and all we do as farmers is to tap water as and when needed from the channels. During the low water seasons, the management team in charge rations the water flow and this helps avoid conflict among the farmers. Such a model if extrapolated to the national level could go a long way in realising the much needed progress in Agricultural production.

Some of the roles of this authority could be;

  • Carrying out feasibility studies for new irrigation projects

  • Planning, Designing, Constructing and implementation of irrigation infrastructure in the country

  • Operation and maintenance of the irrigation projects in place

  • Training farmers on different methods of irrigation

This authority can then be mandated to report directly to the office of the President since he is the champion for this cause.

It is my view that if only 30% of the total acreage of arable land in Uganda today was to be made productive year round through irrigation, we would create market leadership in food production on the African continent.

While jerrygation is a good shot at this irrigation behemoth, a more structured approach is likely to yield longer term results.

James Wire is a Small Business and Technology Consultant based in Kampala, Uganda

Follow @wirejames on Twitter.

Email lunghabo [at] gmail [dot] com

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Photo Credit: Operation Wealth Creation

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Are Kampala’s Elite juicing their way to Cancer?

If there is one thing I have respect for Kampala’s middle class, it’s their quick adoption of anything regarding healthy living. There was a time when the social status of someone was directly proportional to their weight. The bulkier you were, the higher the social standing you had.

We then got introduced to the world of Gym, Sauna and Steam bath. It became the rage around town. Someone worthy their corporate pedigree had to be seen to have a sauna/steam bath as part of their daily programme. The consciousness of weight loss begun at this stage. However, most of the disciples thought that they would still maintain their beer swigging, chicken and pork eating habits expecting the sauna to automagically take away the weight.

The sauna era then paved way for Jogging. To-date, jogging is still taken seriously with groups of drinking buddies or even corporates coming together once or twice a week to jog a couple of kilometers.

While this was going on, we were ushered into the era of Juicing !!!!.

What is Juicing? Juicing involves a process where the natural liquids, vitamins, and minerals are extracted from raw fruits and vegetables, this process strips away any solid matter from the fruits and vegetables and you’re left with liquid only.

Everywhere I turn lately, a friend or two are talking about juicing. They share marvelous stories of how it has changed their lives, how they’ve lost weight, the elderly have seen their ailments reduce, alcohol filled bodies have been successfully detoxed etc.

While I’m in awe of all these testimonies, I want to share a few pointers on the likely dangers a juicer would expose themselves to in Kampala.

The average urban shopper will purchase their vegetables and fruits from the traditional local markets, Supermarkets as well as roadside sellers. Often times the presentation of these products is so attractive that one can hardly question their origin.

However, a few disturbing issues are rife in Uganda’s farming communities and unless urgent attention is given to them, the consumers will bear the brunt through unintended food poisoning as well as disease accumulation.

Issue 1:

It is a fact that the presence of banned pesticides is rife in this country. This was in part brought about by the liberalisation of agro-chemical inputs which weakened quality control. Chemicals are banned for various reasons, majority of which are health side effects on humans. More insights on this can be got in this article.

Issue 2:

There is widespread indiscriminate use of pesticides. Once I went to the market and out of curiosity asked the tomato seller why the tomatoes had a whitish substance on them. She confidently told me that the substance was a pesticide sprayed after harvest to increase the shelf life of the tomatoes as well as prevent pest attacks during storage. I did corroborate this assertion with a friend that operates a retail shop.

tomatoesStandard agricultural practice does not recommend applying any pesticides to crops due for harvest within two weeks. This is due to the time it takes for the chemicals to breakdown and avoid entry into the human body. A 2013 Study among tomato farmers in Uganda found that no farmer was applying the recommended concentration of Dithane M-45. Their application varied from 3-7 times the recommended levels. This same Dithane is the one sprayed on the tomatoes after harvest. Its widely used on other crops like lettuce, onions and potatoes. Its active ingredient mancozeb is a known hazardous air pollutant and could cause cancer. It is known to have thyroid effects and when ingested by pregnant women can lead to impaired cognitive function and motor development in children.

Issue 3:

Storage of Fruits and Vegetables by most vendors is questionable. On an early morning trip to Buikwe district, I once found some vegetable vendors retrieving their greens from the irrigation canals of the Lugazi Sugar plantations where they had been stored overnight. As an avid user of this route through the plantation, I know how intense the use of chemicals when growing these sugarcanes is. For someone to keep vegetables there implies that they get into contact with these chemicals and the unsuspecting public become the victims of any health side effects.

It is also common knowledge that some vendors of fruits and vegetables in Kampala often store them overnight in water bodies like the Nakivubo channel among others. These are the very fruits you will gladly ingest raw after being nicely spliced and strategically positioned by the road side on a hot day.

Issue 4:

The relevant government agencies lack the ability to monitor pesticide residues in agricultural products. This is one of the reasons why we always wake up late when the EU is banning our produce. Farmers and agro chemical dealers are operating in an unregulated environment and it has become a dog eat dog world. They don’t seem to bear concern for the wellbeing of the food consumers.

What does all this mean to a Juicer?

Since juicing largely involves consumption of raw fruits and vegetables, the chances of one ingesting harmful chemicals while at it is high if they do not have knowledge of the source of the foods they are consuming. Take it from me, you can shop from the trending supermarkets or grocery shops and the agents there may convince you that their suppliers are carefully selected and regulated to ensure you get top notch products. As an individual that knows quite abit about the agriculture value chain, those are mere lies. Many of these retailers have no idea about the practices of their suppliers when growing the produce. All they see are clean vegetables and fruits presented to them.

As you juice, I advise that you consider growing your own stuff. Most of these vegetables and fruits can be grown in your backyard (if you’re serious) and the beauty is that there are groups like the Backyard Gardeners that have a good support network on WhatsApp.

If you aren’t ready to grow your stuff, then start today and scout for a good vegetable/fruit grower who is ethical enough to meet your expectations.

Otherwise, in the pursuit of great health, many are risking even worse ailments by merely jumping onto the bandwagon without assessing the dangers.

Happy Juicing.

Follow @wirejames on Twitter

The Simplistic attitude of the Elite towards Africa’s Farmer

I have always wanted to write an article on this subject but somehow never had the right recipe to push me. However, I stumbled across an article by the veteran Charles Onyango Obbo which summarily concluded that Africa should lease out its land to large financially able corporates as well as embrace GMOs wholesale. GMO is an acronym used to denote Genetically Modified Foods but actually stands for Genetically Modified Organisms.

In his article, the veteran publisher states; “The wider environmental crisis in the region has probably reached a level that state resources alone cannot reverse. The farmers have reached their wit’s end, and are not able to pay for environmental repair to their lands.

The use of the term “probably” in the statement above is tactical and I commend him for that. However, his conclusion that the farmers cannot pay for the environmental repair was probably aimed at justifying the recommendation that followed;

“… someone with lots of money needs to come in, and for that to happen governments and activists in the region will have to embrace the idea of concessioning land to foreign nations and firms eager to lease it for farming.”

While he appreciates that land leases to foreign entities have not traditionally gone down well with the masses, I beg to differ with the insinuation that the solution to the incompetence of our local agriculture is moneyed foreigners entering the fray. They are welcome, Yes but the lack of good governance processes especially when it comes to acquisition of these lands by investors tends to be the genesis of the animosity.

There are a number of scenarios where rural dwellers are duped with job offers in order to quit their lands. After the investor sets foot, a handful are picked with the rest left to forge out new professions overnight. To make matters worse, the percolation of the returns from the natural resource are largely felt by the investors only with the locals being relegated to the periphery. As a result, absolute poverty simply multiplies, leading to the escalation of uncalled for vices like robbery.

As someone in close touch with rural dwellers and a small scale farmer at that, I have realised that our farmers are half the story when it comes to the problem of poor production. The Governments have let us down so much with their round peg in a square hole approach towards addressing farmers’ challenges. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), small holders manage over 80 per cent of the world’s estimated 500 million small farms and provide over 80% of the food consumed in a large part of the developing world.

If small holder farming is a success elsewhere, why can’t it be the case in East Africa? The issue is more complex than the small holder farmers themselves. At the start of the current rainy season, I did purchase Beans and Ground nuts from an apparently reliable seeds supplier only to achieve a germination rate of less than 30%. As I speak, I can’t replant since am not certain about the length of time left for the rains to stop (Please do not remind me to use a bicycle for irrigation). This is a common tale among most of our farmers who see entire seasons fail as a result of supply chain issues. In other cases, the produce may be in abundance in the rural farms but infrastructural challenges prevent it from reaching your favourite supermarket. Under such circumstances, one shouldn’t hastily blame the farmer. I once came across cabbage farmers in Butaleja district who were stuck with large succulent cabbages and were offering them for sale at UGX 300/= (less than 10 US Cents).

Our governments need to handle this Agricultural support with as much expertise as they do when it comes to facilitating foreign industrialists. Facilitating these small holder farmers in a manner that is not aimed at merely ticking off deliverables but creates the much needed positive change is what we need. The so called primitive agriculture is definitely likely to benefit from such an honest approach.

Mr. Onyango Obbo goes ahead to endorse genetically modified foods wholesale. I understand his frustration as an urban dweller whose only concern is to find food readily available on the supermarket shelf. However, there is an uglier side to this whole GMO industry that needs us to tread with caution.

As a farmer, I am scared of GM Crops due to the following reasons;

  1. GM Crops are patented. A patent is a license (usually given by government) conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention. If any farmer is found growing GM crops without proof of having purchased them from the company holding the patent rights or its agent, serious litigation is expected. A number of cases have been recorded so far with the Monsanto Canada Vs Schmeiser case garnering a lot of publicity.

  2. Companies coming up with these GM foods are now in a better position to control the entire supply chain of their product right from seed supply to herbicide/pesticide use. They have the ability to genetically link their crops to selected herbicides and pesticides that they themselves produce hence locking out other players in the industry. This is likely to create monopolies in the market eventually. Roundup is a weed killer that Monsanto has successfully managed to link to its GM crops like the Soya Beans (Heard of crops referred to as Roundup Ready?). As a result, its application in a field with their crops achieves much more success than alternative options. The desire to maximise profits and control entire business ecosystems is likely to leave the farmer unfairly exposed to corporate manipulaton.

  3. Contamination. The GM crops have been known to be so aggressive that they end up contaminating organic plants in nearby locales. I first heard this from some rural farmers who always claimed that certain seeds they bought had the net effect of causing a poor harvest among their local alternatives. Science today has proven it and there are land mark cases where GM companies have sued farmers for continuing to grow crops that have been inadvertently crossed with their GM varieties. According to Planetnatural.com, “Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto sued at least 144 farmers and settled with some 700 others it accused of growing their patented GMO crops often canola seed or soy beans without purchase. Gag orders were imposed on those who settled. The irony here is that these growers wanted nothing to do with the GMO crops. They claim that the GMO crops trespassed on their property and grew there without their knowledge or consent.”

  4. Defying Tradition. Farmers growing GMOs are not allowed to utilise seed from the previous season’s harvest if the court case against an Indiana farmer is one to go by. Essentially an African farmer will be expected to always buy their seeds or else they end up in a court of law for saving and replanting seed.

  5. Cost Trap. Over reliance on the corporate world for the entire lifecycle of a farmer’s crops is likely to lead to a spike in food prices in future. Once these profit motivated companies take control of the global food supply from the seeds to the table, they will dictate prices and cause artificial price rises or drops akin to the OPEC era when oil prices were globally manipulated by a selected club of countries.

cereals_enAccording to FAO, over 90% of the food loss across the Agricultural value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa is at the pre consumption level (growing, post-harvest, processing and distribution) with the consumption level contributing less than 10%. While increased production is the holy grail touted by the GMO crowd, failure to address the current food loss elements in our value chain will still lead us back to square one.

Without doubt bwana Onyango Obbo, we all want to see a smoothly flowing food value chain with no interrupts like you have rightfully observed, however, it doesn’t necessitate us to jump from the frying pan into the fire. We know what the problems are and their solutions. We just need the right policy pursuits by our leaders.

God Bless

Follow @wirejames on twitter

Bill Gates, Bring those Chicken, But …

I first heard of Bill Gates in 1994 when I got introduced to Microsoft Windows 3.0. His name has since time immemorial been associated with Microsoft and Windows software in particular. A few years later, as a firebrand Free Software aligned techie, I loathed him and anything to do with the Windows Operating System. Microsoft had so much dominance in the IT industry then and its efforts aimed at annihilating other players only left those of us who believed in Linux and other free software systems disillusioned.

Fast forward, the year is 2016, as I browse the internet, an article crosses my path screaming “Bill Gates to donate chicken to Africa’s poor.” The title almost made me think this was another typical White Saviour Mentality gesture until I decided to quickly read through. Coming to Africa to donate Chicken may sound such a dumb thing but this guy has got his reasons as highlighted on his blog;

  • They are easy and inexpensive to take care of. Many breeds can eat whatever they find on the ground (although it’s better if you can feed them, because they’ll grow faster). Hens need some kind of shelter where they can nest, and as your flock grows, you might want some wood and wire to make a coop. Finally, chickens need a few vaccines. The one that prevents the deadly Newcastle disease costs less than 20 cents.
  • They’re a good investment. Suppose a new farmer starts with five hens. One of her neighbors owns a rooster to fertilize the hens’ eggs. After three months, she can have a flock of 40 chicks. Eventually, with a sale price of $5 per chicken—which is typical in West Africa—she can earn more than $1,000 a year, versus the extreme-poverty line of about $700 a year.
  • They help keep children healthy. Malnutrition kills more than 3.1 million children a year. Although eating more eggs—which are rich in protein and other nutrients—can help fight malnutrition, many farmers with small flocks find that it’s more economical to let the eggs hatch, sell the chicks, and use the money to buy nutritious food. But if a farmer’s flock is big enough to give her extra eggs, or if she ends up with a few broken ones, she may decide to cook them for her family.
  • They empower women. Because chickens are small and typically stay close to home, many cultures regard them as a woman’s animal, in contrast to larger livestock like goats or cows. Women who sell chickens are likely to reinvest the profits in their families.

I have spent a better part of the past two weeks trying to use some linkages to access the research report that informed his decision on this chicken venture. Unfortunately, the consultant hired to do the study has not got clearance to share the report publicly.

Nevertheless, I agree with the arguments raised by this philanthropist. As a child, I used to spend my holidays in the villages of Butaleja district (Eastern Uganda) and clearly saw how wealth accumulation could start from a mere chicken. I was once given a hen as a gift and decided not to eat it. This hen within a year had given me enough chicks to exchange for two goats (that is how we did it then). I got those two goats and ensured that they grew and sired kids. The eventual goal was to raise 5 to 7 goats and exchange for a cow. Somehow along the way, I never achieved this but others in the neighborhood did barter their goats for cows. In brief, it is true that chicken can be a source of wealth for our lot of peasants looking for a meaningful existence.

As someone who has had his entire life largely spent on the African continent, my advice to Bill Gates and his team at Heifers international is to consider the following as you go about distributing the 100,000 chicken;

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My Local Chicken at home sitting on its eggs

  1. Local Breeds: Try as much as possible to ensure that you distribute local breeds in the different areas of operation for this initiative. I know the temptation might run high to purchase foreign breeds from a large international conglomerate, but their ability to survive not only the occasionally harsh weather conditions but also the low level of attention from these peasant farmers is suspect. You see, unlike in the USA where chicken are treated like new born babies, in most African villages, it’s survival for the fittest. I rear some chicken at home too but on issues to do with food, they have to take case of themselves, the most I do is offer them rent free housing.
  2. Vaccination: You rightfully point out the issue of vaccination and I agree 100% with that. However, as a caution, do not only look at the Western Style vaccines when addressing this concern. Consider tapping into indigenous knowledge and you will find a wealth of traditional practices and medicines used to protect these birds. That way, you will be creating a self sustaining system.
  3. Sensitisation: Many times we tend to plan for the rural poor and expect them to view things the way we do in the comfort of our air conditioned boardrooms. Nothing is always obvious when it comes to dealing with some sections of society. It will be very crucial to ensure that beneficiary communities are given good information about the initiative and its goals. They have to see from the word go how this will play out in favour of their family. Someone may fail to see the logic in waiting for the birds to lay eggs, hatch and raise the chicks to full maturity when they can sell the parent stock for some quick money to solve an immediate need. Others may raise the birds but expect someone to come to their home and buy from there yet depending on your location, you might have to spend some good hours standing by the roadside under sweltering heat conditions to sell off one or two chicken.
  4. Eagles: Yes, you may be wondering what this has to do with chicken but for anyone who has been raised in a rural dwelling, it is obvious that the biggest prey to chicks is the flying Eagles in the air. They have such a great eye sight, speed, are armed with tough talons and have mastered the science of trajectories. To spot and pick up a chick is something that comes naturally to these birds. I have however noticed a stark difference between my local hens and the foreign breeds when it comes to protection of their young ones. Somehow the former are more aggressive and protective than the latter. This therefore takes me back to the point I made of encouraging the distribution of local breeds. An eagle doesn’t need more than two days to rid a careless hen of 8 chicks.
  5. The money: You clearly show an estimate of an annual income at US$ 700. So many assumptions are being made about the actual income potential and I hope they are not based on a non representative study. The kind of target beneficiaries for this initiative are likely to be rural area dwellers whose access to urban areas and their consumers is very limited. To imagine that a chicken can be bought for US$ 5 from a farmer is currently not possible in many rural areas of Africa. In Uganda for example, that is the retail price of chicken in an urban market. The middle-men involved in the value chain dictate what the chicken rearer is going to earn and that is a fact we have to live with. I therefore request that you scale down your income expectations by at least 50% if all other concerns expressed are to be factored in.
  6. With Success comes the Man: Melinda Gates in her article indicates that one of the beauties of this idea is that it can be a “woman thing.” This is largely true until the money starts rolling in. Having observed as a young child growing up part time in the rural areas, for as long as a source of income in the family became significant, the man would take keen interest in controlling it. I see the same happening to this venture once it registers success. This therefore calls for sensitisation of the entire household prior to participation in the project in order to help all parties involved appreciate the ultimate goal being pursued.

Otherwise, Bill and Melinda Gates have won me over with their philanthropic pursuits. While other global billionaires are competing on who has a bigger yatch and some pea brained Ugandan wannabe rich chaps are struggling to get the most likes over their facebook photos depicting them counting illicitly acquired money, Bill and Melinda are seen interacting with the poor in rural locales as far off as Malawi. That is a much more fulfilling raison d’être to me.

To you Bill and Melinda, I may not be in favour of merely ‘giving out’ 100,000 birds from an economist’s point of view but I can only talk about that if you make public the research paper or project document you are going to base on for implementation. On the whole, your pursuit to change the lives of the deprived despite having such privileged backgrounds is very commendable.

Follow @wirejames on Twitter

The budget should show cause for the smallholder farmer

Uganda’s 2016-17 National Budget was read out recently. The smallholder farmer who forms the overwhelming majority of the 5.2 Million farming households is likely to need more attention.

There are tales of fruit processing machinery installed in some regional locations that are unutilised. Something is not right and we cannot keep blaming the farmer, maybe the implementers too need to rethink their approaches….

A move to commercial agriculture has been looked at as a necessary driver for the agriculture Sector and the economy in general. So, it is crucial to cease thinking about it as an activity that is done by farmers on large swathes of land with a lot of financial resources.

Read full article as published in the Daily Monitor here.

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When Value Addition isn’t treasured

Recently, I went to a rice mill with two bags of husked rice ready for milling. The millers knew it was business as usual, deliver husked rice and they unhusk it. To their surprise, I asked that they not only unhusk but also grade the rice. This request almost brought operations to a standstill. Read the full story in the Daily Monitor

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The Rice Grader at the Government owned Rice Mill in Nabiganda Town Council, Butaleja District, Uganda

Investing in Farming? Know your Market

Media coverage on how farming pays is leading many to try their luck. From corporate tele-farmers (office workers who dabble in farming) to retired-into-farming types, many have financial gain in mind.

However, do you know who you are producing for? More in this article.

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The author assessing the supply potential of a mushroom farmer. Busolwe Town Council, Butaleja District, Uganda.

Farming too is a Great Profession

Looking at me in the eyes, she innocently asked, “Daddy, why do people get surprised when I tell them I want to become a farmer?”

Before I could answer, her brother responded, “Because they don’t expect that. They think you should be a doctor or an engineer.”

This interaction with my children drove me back to the debate I have always had with people who tend to look at farming as a part-time or second rate profession that they opt for due to retirement or when everything else has failed.

Read More in this article.

Reducing Risk when Supplying Supermarkets

The scenes of supermarket suppliers rioting in Gulu Town a while back due to the closure of Uchumi Supermarket touched many. If you are privy to information on how supermarkets work, you know that most of them never pay upfront for the products they sell on their shelves preferring to pay suppliers after the sale has been done.

In this Seeds of Gold article, I share more on how reduce the risk associated with Supermarket business.

Dollar Rise good for Uganda’s Agriculture Sector

There are lots of cries especially from the urban dwelling middle class over the alarming rate at which the Ugandan Shilling is depreciating against the United States Dollar. However, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. The Agriculture sector could easily be one of the few beneficiaries of the status-quo. Find out more in this article.