SERERE– Farmers in some districts of Teso Sub-region plan to embark on growing yellow maize on the large scale as a measure to boost food security and improve household incomes.
The farmers in districts of Amuria, Serere, Kapelebyong, and Kalaki, among others, have begun preparing their gardens early as they wait for the rains of the first season. They have been promised ready market for the prioduce.
According to Christopher Obuin, the manager East Kyoga Multipurpose Cooperative Society [EKMSC] in Serere district, farmers will be given improved seeds and fertilizers for an acre at a cost of Shs 220,000 after depositing Shs 70,000. The farmers will pay the balance at the end of the harvest period.
Obuin says Ag-Ploutos, an agricultural company whose core business is to strengthen food supply chains through partnerships with various public and private entities will provide the seeds and fertilizers by February 2023.
He said growing yellow maize is the best option for the cooperative because it is more nutritious and gives a farmer better yields than white maize.
He says most farmers in Teso Sub-region hardly use fertilizers in their farms. “Farmers in Teso Sub-region are very lazy when it comes to using fertilizers. That is why they earn less income from harvests,” Obuin says.
Obuin encouraged farmers who have land to register with the cooperative so that they can benefit from Ag-Ploutos.
Besides, Obuin says the package for the farm inputs comes in with insurance cover. “We have been waiting for this [insurance]. Finally, we can plant while knowing our risks are covered,” says Obuin.
However, Stephen Epau, the chairperson EKMCS, cautioned the farmers not to abandon cassava growing, saying it is the backbone of Teso Sub-region.
He encouraged farmers to produce food massively, saying there is ready market. “Our main food crop is cassava. Therefore we should grow it in plenty since we have ready market for it,” he said.
Adenike Olufunmilayo, managing Director Ag-Ploutos said they would provide ready market for the yellow maize to be grown by the farmers when the new season opens.
She said the yellow maize has a nutritional value for both animals and human beings.” Yellow maize is used to process animal foods and has vitamins good for babies,” Olufunmilayo said.
She added that farmers to be insured must be registered by the cooperative by February 15, 2023.
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