Post Covid-19: Crops that will give you joy

Saturday June 20 2020

A farmer tends to their cabbage garden. FILE

A farmer tends to their cabbage garden. FILE PHOTO 

By Shabibah Nakirigya

The Covid 19 pandemic has adversely affected the global and local economy. A number of people are feeling pressure in their pockets during the lockdown.
For farmers and people who are passionate about agribusiness, this is the time to think about crops that can give you quick money to get you moving.
This quick money can help you pay workers and meet other operational needs of your farm.

Godfrey Kigoye, an agronomist and agribusiness consultant gives farmers tips and crops that will help them make some money during and after Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s worth noting that whereas many businesses have been affected, people continue to eat, thus necessitating farming.

Tomatoes and passion fruits
Kigoye says tomatoes can get one quick money because one can start harvesting as early as three months. His advice is that one can intercrop tomatoes with passion fruits because the former is a seasonal crop while the latter is short term.

He says an acre of tomatoes will require investment capital of Shs3.9m-Shs4.5m. “A farmer can harvest a minimum of 120 boxes and going by Shs200,000 per box, a farmer will earn a gross of Shs24m,” Kigoye says.
He adds that one can also farm quarter an acre and get some good money.
About market, he says market is available both within Uganda and the EAC region.

Cabbages
Kigoye says one can plant over 14,000 plants on an acre since spacing is 2ft apart. Cabbages mature in three months.
He says with a minimum investment of Shs1m, one can earn as high as Shs5m from an acre.

Yams
Kigoye says farmers near water sources can also plant yams (commonly known as Bwaise in Luganda). He says a big tuber of a yam goes for Shs1000-1,500 at farm gate price. An acre can accommodate 40,000 plants. Yams mature in six-eight months.

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Others
Other crops that a farmer can earn money from include green pepper, sweet pepper, ntula (bitter tomatoes), egg plants, dodo, sukumawiki, nakati.

The seeds for the above crops that can cover an acre will cost a minimum of Shs100,000, according to Kigoye.
All you need is to get the right variety, do a nursery bed (pot) and transplant into a well prepared field within a month some of the above crops can be harvested.

“Some of these can be done on the backyard for urban dwellers,” Kigoye says, adding that these crops can also be planted in tyre gardens, sack mounds, box gardens and Mandela gardens in the backyard.
“These can help you reduce expenditure at home but they can also be used for learning purposes for school children at home,” Kigoye says.

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