Members of Abulomogo Maize Farmers’ SACCO have received farm inputs from Ngetta Tropical Holdings, with funding from Micro the Finance Support Centre, to promote sunflower growing.
Abulomogo Maize Farmers’ SACCO, formerly called Arocha Farmers’ group, was formed in 2008. The SACCO, which is located in Kidilani parish, Chegere Sub County, in Apac district has 2,500 members, all of whom benefited from the inputs.
The farm inputs comprising 5-kgs of sunflower seeds, 20 metric tonnes of bio-fertilizers and 20 metric tonnes of bio-pesticides, are expected to cover over 8000 acres of land during planting.
Members of the SACCO from the districts of Apac, Kwania, Oyam, and Kole entered an agreement with Ngetta Tropical Holdings to grow sunflower on large scale for export, a move targeted at boosting their incomes, increasing savings and alleviating poverty.
Nelson Adeka, the Abulomogo SACCO Chairperson says, each member is expected to harvest a minimum of 2000kgs sunflower per acre of garden, and that the harvest will be sold to the company at an agreed price of 1200 shillings per kilo.
“Each member can make about 2.5 million shillings from an acre of Sunflower after a period of 3 months from planting. This will boost members’ savings and in turn increase our loan portfolio from Shs 560m to an estimated 2 billion shillings,” he said.
He asked the SACCO members to address the issue of poor-quality harvests by planting their seeds in time and dealing with post-harvest handling challenges in order to boost the marketability of their produce.
Paul Omara, the Chief Executive Officer of Ngetta Tropical Holdings, and former Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Tanzania called on to SACCO members to embrace commercial farming to generate household income.
“We are giving out inputs to SACCO members at no cost but they will pay after the harvest at the time of selling to the company as per the agreement. They need to embrace commercial farming; that is the only way to go,” he said in an interview.
Omara appealed to the Microfinance Support Centre to provide cooperative societies with low-interest agricultural loans to enhance their production and productivity.
Jaspher Ekonga, a resident of Adem trading centre in Chegere Sub County Apac district, was happy with the 5-Kgs of seeds he received and hopes that the sunflower project will be his springboard to a better life.
“I am happy that what I have received is a quality seed and am expecting to mint a lot of money that will help improve my savings,” he said.
Another member, Fiona Akello, a resident of Apuriparo Village in Ayer Sub County, Kole district has plans to dedicate seven acres to the crop so as to boost her household income.
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