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Amach Banana Producers and Seed Marketing SACCO reaping big from business

LIRA, May 30, 2024 – Members of Amach Banana Producers and Seed Marketing SACCO Limited in Lira district are making good money out of growing bananas, and other crops.

Patrick Olobo, the SACCO’s General Secretary made the revelation to this reporter during a farmer’s field day held at Wiodyek Sub-county recently.

Olobo said they have so far made more than Shs 6 million from selling banana bunches and suckers, adding that on top of making money, members of the SACCO are food secure.

“We have food in our homes as well as incomes. We made Shs 11mln from selling banana suckers. Apart from dry cassava and sweet potatoes, we also dry bananas, and make flour out of them. This is helping us fight food insecurity among people,” Olobo said.

He added that growing bananas has improved the livelihoods of the farmers, saying they can now cater for their home’s basic needs among others.

“My people [SACCO members] are able capable of making projections on the money to be earned from their bananas. I have managed to buy a plot of land at Amach town council and some of my members have acquired land as well, they are now sending their children to schools, cater for their medical bills,” he added.

However, Olobo said they have been having challenges with banana weevils and other pests and diseases which have affected the quality of yields.

“We have banana weevil that consumes 40 percent of the banana that a farmer must eat, that means if a farmer is supposed to sell a batch of banana at Shs 10,000, they may end up selling it at Shs 4,000 only, and stray animals are another challenge,” Olobo said.

Meanwhile Dorcus Alum, Lira District Principal Agricultural Officer testified that she was able to buy a vehicle and plot of land because of growing bananas.

“We can all embrace banana production, the vehicle I’m driving now came from growing bananas. I planted five acres of coffee then I intercropped with bananas, in the first two years I started benefiting from coffee, but it was bananas that paid me the money that I used to buy a vehicle and land,” Alum said.

Alum appealed to the farmers to at least have bananas as a perennial crop saying it provides both money and food for the households.

“Banana production is a sure deal, first of all, you will never out of food in your house, on a daily basis you can get money out of bananas, I encourage all the farmers where possible, if you can have bananas as a perennial crop at least have one or two acres of bananas, you will make money out of it,” she said.

Josephine Alobo, the Lira District Commercial Officer said selling bananas is a good venture for the SACCO as well as its members.

“Anything that is bringing income to the SACCO because many people have not ventured into that,” Alobo said.

Among the markets that the SACCO members sell their bananas are; Corner Amach market, at the farms, main road networks, trading centers like Amach Town Council, Lira City Centre, and Acholi Sub-region and South Sudan.

At the moment, the Amach Banana Producers and Seed Marketing SACCO has a total of 57 registered members and it is hopeful that the more members shall join since the condition is just about buying 5 shares yearly at Shs 10,000mln and paying Shs 10,000 for subscriptions fees.

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