Feb 22, 2018 Last Updated 2:37 PM, Apr 10, 2017

Success Story of an Indigenous (AIV) farmer

  • Dec 19, 2014
Published in Business

Salongo, a vegetable farmer, speaking about his farm which is worth millions of shillings, one would wish to become an AIV farmer the next day. But the Farmer who has taken specialty in growing indigenous vegetables in Nalusuga village, Nangabo Sub County in Wakiso District says the road to earning millions from the vegetables has been out of past misfortunes with other indigenous vegetables. Kaye says, for many years he grew things that were very vulnerable to pests and diseases, this continued to kill his investment. This prompted him to think outside the box, the farmer was able to resort to AIVs for urvival not knowing he had reached his goldmine.

With a startup capital of only UGX100,000= on his ½ acre of land, Kaye purchased ½ lorry full of manure at UGX 40, 000/= which was the most expensive input at that time which he bought from Uga Chick in Magigye and he used the balance to purchase seeds and also prepare the garden. Kaye says he opted for AIVS due its short term growth period of 2½ to 3 months. Kaye has 20 permanent workers but when the work becomes overwhelming, he hires 8 casual laborers (especially women) from Gayaza at UGX 7, 000/= per day, excluding lunch and transport.

Mr Kaye uses the broadcast method to plant nakati and ebbugga(red amaranth) though the bbugga matures after 1month and then he harvests nakati after 1½ months, meaning nakati takes 2½ months to mature during the rainy season; and after each harvest he collects 1 to 4 million from each acre.

Despite acquisition of approximately 15 acres, 6 of which are his own and kaye rents the 9acres at UGX 200, 000/= per month and harvests 100 bundles per acre. However, he cannot recall how much profits he reaped from the 1st harvest since he did not record anywhere.
He pays UGX 5, 000/= for harvesting and loading each bundle, plus market dues of UGX 2, 000/= per bundle. Although prices fluctuate because of supply and demand, Mr. Kaye says that during low seasons (rainy), he earns UGX 10,000/= from each nakati bundle, but on the higher side (dry season), he earns UGX 70,000= for each bundle. On the day we visited him, he had sold each bundle at UGX 40, 000/=, while the previous day sales were at UGX 50, 000/=.
“I sell the nakati and bugga and ddoodo in markets like Kalerwe, Nakasero and Nakawa, and I transport my own vegetables using the truck which I acquired from the profits“, says Mr. Kaye.
Mindful of food security while attaining income security , The father of ten also grows other crops like maize and potatoes on the 6 acres for home consumption. This also helps to cushion him from hard times especially when one garden does not give high yield, he says he resorts to the other gardens.

Through the growing of African Indigenous Vegetables, Mr Kaye has been able to build a house, buy an Elf Isuzu truck to transport his produce to the market and also to transport manure an activity he previously carried out using his bicycle.
Kaye has also educated his children – two are now at university level, while one is doing a nursing course, two are in secondary school, two in primary school and two young ones are still at home.

In every business there are challenges, these are aimed at improving the stability of the business, just like any other business, Kaye faces various challenges , these include thieves who steal from his garden, pests and diseases which he at times fails to identify, fluctuating market, at times, they produce a lot and yet the demand is low. They are forced to leave the nakati,bbuuga and ddoodo in the garden for use as seedlings.

Mr Kaye’s advice to farmers is that they should be patient during market fluctuations and not to give up until they maximize their profits. He encourage farmers to start growing African Indigenous Vegetables(AIVs) because of the assured profits throughout the year. Kaye however, appeals to researchers and extension workers to visit, advise and train them at the farm during such times

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