There is a fast growing demand for vegetables nowadays due to a widening awareness of their nutritive value.
They are known to be an important source of minerals and vitamins which are essential for good health. Most restaurants serve vegetables along with local main foodstuffs such as posho, matooke, cassava, potato, rice, and kalo (millet).
Some vegetables are consumed as sauce and others are eaten as a side dish.
Commercial production of vegetables can be very paying especially for people living near markets and large towns.
Most vegetables are ready for harvesting within three or four months after planting and can even be farmed on borrowed or hired plots by people who don’t own land.
Commonly grown vegetables in Uganda include tomatoes, cabbages, eggplant, carrots, nakati, and sukuma-wiki, among others. Seeds can be purchased from farmers’ shops.
The farmer should have some skills in nursery bed making since many vegetables have tiny seeds which cannot easily be planted directly into holes in accordance with the recommended spacing.
Requirements for growing vegetables include fertile soil, permanent source of water, and regular inspection. Soil fertility may be achieved by application of farmyard manure or artificial fertilisers so long as they are applied strictly according to manufacturer’s directions.
A permanent source of water is important because vegetables always need moist soil to grow well. The supply of vegetables to restaurants and whatever other markets must be constant, rain or no rain and the farmer has to turn to irrigation when the rains fail.
The farmer must regularly check on the vegetables to minimize damage by pests, animals, running water, and other possible hazards.
To sustain constant production the farmer may have to divide up the garden into plots so that he plants vegetables periodically on a different plot, which agriculturists refer to as vegetable rotations --- growing of a variety of vegetables one after the other on the same piece of land.
When in one plot the cabbages are getting finished, harvesting of cabbages begins on another plot while a replacement of another type of vegetable is made where the cabbages were previously grown. Rotation reduces pest multiplication.