He ditched tobacco for vegetables

By Christine Kasemiire

Two years ago, 19-year-old Jackson Nasasira grew tobacco in his village in Hoima District.

He made colossal losses after failing to offload the bags he had onto the market. There was no demand.

Diversifies

Youthful Nasasira then took up tomato growing. “When I was 19, I planted a lot of tobacco and did not know what to do with it. I could not eat it. Last year I started on tomatoes and have so far harvested three times. Tomatoes grow very fast,” he narrates.

The story repeats itself with Innocent Kaija, a farmer also in Hoima who abandoned tobacco growing for tomatoes. He owns two acres of land on which he grows different varieties of tomatoes. Thanks to his work on the farm, Kaija is constructing a modern house in the village.

Kaija and Nasasira are some of the thousands of people employed in the agriculture sector in the district in agriculture. Uganda is an agricultural economy employing more 70 per cent of the population.

Innovation

However, farming in today’s environment is no small feat. For instance, the Office of the Prime Minister put out a warning notice highlighting a wave of floods expected to drench parts of the country.

Challenges such as pests, new and exotic diseases, lack of funding, effects of climate change and poor seed varieties are still inhibiting sustainable agriculture.

Effectively, research in the sector has been very instrumental in curbing some of these challenges.

Source: Daily Monitor

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