GULU – UPDF soldiers on the cusp of retirement have been advised to keep themselves active by growing tea.
“Tea takes more than a hundred years when one is still harvesting money from it, if it is well taken care of and when time for harvesting comes one can harvest every after three days. Take the initiative it will feed generation to generation,’’ Edwin Atukunda Beekunda, the director of Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative ( EFOTI), advised soldiers, last Thursday, while opening the first tea mother garden at the 4th division barracks in Gulu.
Beekunda initiated tea growing in Acholi sub-region.
According to him, tea should be considered a priority enterprise for the men in uniform.
“The forces have been key in protecting the lives and properties of Ugandans, but when they retire little gets into their welfare purse, but if they have their own investment they will have better lives,” he said.
EFOTI deals majorly in growing tea, training in tea growing technologies as well as tea related research and development.
Beekunda introduced tea growing in Acholi because he figured traditional crops like cassava, Maize, sim-sim and sorghum were labor intensive and had not met the expectations of local farmers due to weather pattern changes.
“In the last two years, we have been trying out tea growing here and we are glad that the results are positive. I am now requesting farmers to put in a formal requisition to the government under Operation Wealth Creation so that they receive tea seedlings, he said
Pte, Amos Ogutu, 47, said he is willing to take up the initiative to utilize his 40 hectares of land.
“The tea initiative will not only be a supplement to my salary but will act as a land demarcation mark on my land to avoid encroachers,’’ he said.
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