Offers handsome returns for farmers as demand grows
Uganda’s climatic conditions as well as her diverse smallholder farming systems have been described as a great opportunity for Ugandans to increase their incomes, and escape poverty.
This was revealed at the launch of the Commercial Spice Farming Campaign at Kayindu Parish Kalagala sub-county in Luweero district on Friday July 20, 2018. The spice farming initiative has been spearheaded by RESSKIM Cross Border Trade Consortium.
William Kwezi, the Managing Director of Nkuruba Integrated Agricultural Development Services, one of the member organizations of the consortium, argued that spice growing is not only viable but also incomes from the enterprise compare much better than than many of the locally grown crops.
He noted as well that out of two acres, a spice farmer can earn between UGX13M and UGX14M in a single season. Compared to other seasonal crops such as Maize, Beans, the maximum income one can obtain rarely goes beyond five million judging by previous prices.
Kwezi said: “These spices can grow very well in different districts in Uganda like in Luwero, Hoima, Kasese, Masindi and Fort portal district.”
Leonard Kagya, the Chairman of the Consortium further noted that the growing of spices promises to bring handsome rewards to farmers but also save the country from spending scarce foreign exchange on importation of raw materials used in the different spices.
Kwezi notes for example that they currently spend about UGX120 on importing 18 tones of spices.
And yet, if these spices were to be grown in Uganda, the country would save hundreds of millions of shillings. Uganda mostly imports raw materials from Ethiopia, China and India.
In order to turn around the state of events, RESSKIM has started a demonstration plot in Kayindu where they plan to train farmers from different districts on how to grow these spices and take advantage of the ready market.
The most common spices used in the production of curry powder are: Funnel, Funnel Greek, Cumin, Black paper, Ginger, Cardamom, Turmeric, and Garlic (katungulu chumu)
Curry Powder not only makes dishes taste nice but also has nutritional and health benefits including prevention of heart diseases and detoxifying the liver,
During the launch of commercial spice farming in Uganda held at a the consortium’s demonstration farm in Kayindu Parish Kalagala sub county in Luweero district last Friday.
Leonard Kagya, the Chairman of the consortium who also doubles as the proprietor of Harrambe Curry Powder assured the farmers of ready market for their spices.
“Every year we the producers of curry powder import raw materials worth billions of money. I can assure the farmers that we have the market for spices.”
Lt. Col. Sam Keera, the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) coordinator for Bamunanika constituency, comprising of Zirobwe, Bamunanika, Kalagala, Kikyusa and Kamira sub counties, advised farmers to utilize this opportunity and grow crops which will give them more money since Land is scarce.
While addressing farmers, Major Ronald Rubaale, the coordinator for OWC financial mobilization based at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development urged farmers to form an association for spice growers if they are to gain government support. “Government does not see individuals. It sees organized groups. You have a chance to complete the value chain of curry powder. I too will participate in growing spices,” said Rubaale.