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The hidden gold under spice growing

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The hidden gold under spice growing

Spice seeds

Spice seeds

Curry powder spices are among the most marketable product in Uganda. The market is readily available both in the manufacturing industries and the local consumers.

According to William Kwezi, the Managing Director of Nkuruba Integrated Agricultural Development Services, Manufacturing industries in Uganda spend over ugx28bn only on importing spices used in making curry powder. One company spends ugx120m in importing a 20ft container of 18tonnes of spices

Spices are currently imported from Ethiopia, Nigeria, China and India. Uganda’s tropical climate condition can favour the growth of turmeric, ginger, coriander, and cumin, funnel Greek, garlic, funnel seeds and cardamom. The best districts for growing spices are Luwero, Hoima, Kasese, Nakasongola, Masindi, Fort portal, Kamuli and parts of Mbale district

Some of the spices and their conditions

Turmeric

Turmeric (Ekinzali Ekiganda) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family which grows for a period of 7-9 months. It can best grow in clay-loamy soil with moderate humus which acts as manure. It’s a pest and disease resistant.

Costs of growing turmeric

On 2 acres of land 8 sacks of seeds costs ugx500, 000 equaling to ugx4m digging, planting and harvesting is ugx2m after final harvesting, the farmer gets between ugx11m-ugx12m. There is advanced market when the product is still on the garden.

Ginger

Ginger (Entangawuzi) is a land race with both small rhizomes and big rhizomes which prefers mildly acidic soils and it grows between 3-6 months. Currently a kilo of ginger costs ugx10,000.

Other spices like cumin and funnel grows between 3-6 months, coriander 4-6 months and funnel Greek 3-4 months.

A demonstration sample was held by the consortium of eight (8) companies in Luweero for two years. Different spices were grown and yielded highly with a fifty percent (50%) profits as revealed by Mr. Kwezi. “We started with two (2) acres and this is the third season we have managed to buy seven (7) acres of land which has enabled us to expand easily”. Mr. William Said. Adding that the major challenge they face is lack of enough seeds.

Major Ronald Rubaale, the coordinator for OWC financial mobilization based at the Ministry of Finance told the sunrise that the government is ready to help farmers through training farmers and giving them financial assistance.

“The government is ready to support farmers and curry powder manufacturers it is them to come out and speak”. Major Rubaale said adding that these farmers should form organized groups like SACCOs, Cooperative societies and village Saccos in order to benefit from the government programs like operation wealth creation.

Curry powder is a spice mixing originating from Indian sub-continent.

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), One table spoon of curry contains 20g of potassium caliphate (kcal), 0.87g of fat, 3.66g of carbohydrates, 2.1g of fibers and 0.89g of proteins

These not only make dishes tasty but also protect the body against heart disease and detoxifying the liver.

buseinsamilu@gmail.com

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