Farming

A radio presenter tells how a challenge from a listener got him into farming

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Matovu Jr in the garded where he

Matovu Jr in the garded where he planted tomatoes.. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA 



Posted  Wednesday, May 7  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

My answer was no but I told her I had plans to do so but lacked land. So, she offered to introduce me to her uncle, Mr Lutta, who owns vast land in Kiwoko village in Luwero District.

She also volunteered to manage the farm when I started farming. Her offer somehow saved me from spending a lot of money.

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My name is Aloysius Matovu Junior a.k.a Mulamuzi. I am a radio presenter at Dembe FM, where I host an afternoon show called Gigenda gitya.

It has a section which involves talking to people, encouraging them to work so as to change their lives. It was last year in April when Ms Ruth Nalwoga, a regular listener, called in during my radio show. I was talking about record keeping in business, being honest and how to start a business mainly in farming, how to acquire a loan, among others.

Nalwoga inquired whether I was involved in farming. My answer was no but I told her I had plans to do so but lacked land. So, she offered to introduce me to her uncle, Mr Lutta, who owns vast land in Kiwoko village in Luwero District.

She also volunteered to manage the farm when I started farming. Her offer somehow saved me from spending a lot of money.

But before I established the farm, Nalwoga brought me a few bunches of matooke from her plantation to show me how much I would gain after I invested in farming.

All Lutta wanted was my assurance that I was going to put his land to good use.

And because I do not pay any fee or rent, I normally send him some produce from the garden as a token of thanks.
I not only started a farm because of the free land I received but I also put in time to find out what type of crop would do better on that type of soil.

Starting out

I started farming in July last year with two and a half acres of land where I planted maize, then included tomatoes a few months later. And as time went by, I also bought two cows at Shs950,000 to supplement the tomatoes and maize.

I started with capital of Shs678,000. With this money, I purchased 24kg of maize seeds (Longe 10 variety) each at Shs4,500 from Naseco, a seed trade company. I bought a tin of weed killer at Shs50,000 and paid Shs30,000 to the person who sprayed the area.

After that, I hired two people to clear the land and plant the maize, their charge was Shs200,000 each acre. Following our negotiations, they cleared the half-acre free of charge. Then, I hired a caretaker at Shs80,000 to supervise the farm.

Because the land was not cultivated at the beginning, it had to be done during weeding when the maize was at one and a half months. It cost Shs180,000 for the labour.

In December, I harvested 14 and a half sacks of 100kg each. I was charged Shs2,000 per sack by the persons who packed the maize in the bags; that came to Shs28,000.

Each 100-kg went for Shs70,000 and the half-sack was sold at Shs35,000. In all, I earned Shs1.15m and the net profit was Shs472,000.

Growing tomatoes

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