A farmer in Nwoya District has earned over six million Ugandan shillings from selling banana suckers since March this year.
Alfred Komakech is one of the farmer representatives the banana research program has been working with in the intervention in Northern Uganda.
The Banana Research Program under the Feed the Future Activity (FtF) has been strengthening seed systems for commercial production and delivery of quality banana planting materials in the Lango and Acholi region.
Farmer plantation in Northern Uganda.
Several engagements with farmers have been made including demonstration on banana agronomic practices, introduction of elite banana hybrid cultivars and banana seed promotion events and building capacity of community-based seed entrepreneurs (CSEs) in Lango and Acholi sub-regions.
Following these engagements, farmers have registered great achievements in terms of yield and seed sales. Komakech has sold over 3000 suckers since March worth Ugx 6million. These suckers are mainly for the improved banana varieties including NAROBan 5 (M30), FHIA17 and NAROBan 4 (M27).
Farmers being trained in seed multiplication.
In Lira, the leading seed supplier has sold over 1300 sackers since May worth 2.6millions. The average price of suckers in Lira Ugx2000. In Paicho, Gulu District, the price of suckers’ ranges from Ugx1000 – Ugx2000. The leading supplier has sold over 1600 sackers since May worth Ugs1.9millions.
Since the intervention in Northern Uganda in 2020, NARO has established banana demonstration gardens across parishes in the region, to act as learning sites to surrounding farmers for better banana management in a bid to increase productivity on farm. About 100 demonstration sites were established in 2020 on farmers’ fields in Amach (Lira), Myene (Oyam), Paicho (Gulu) and Alero (Nwoya) sub counties.
Mr. Wilson Okurut (on left) training farmers in Nwoya on seed multiplication.
This was a result of identified available banana market and market gaps to be exploited in the region. Banana consumption in Acholi and Lango is estimated to be worth Ush25.99billion per year. Most of this is outsourced from other regions and thus presenting a market potential for banana production within the region.
A team from NARL’s National Banana Research Program participated at the two-day nationwide Farmers' Mobilisation, Education, Value Addition & Service Delivery Campaign launch held on 18th and 19th August 2023, at Kasana playground in Mubende district, where it trained farmers in best agronomic practices for bananas.
The Kisoboka campaign was spear headed by the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja. The two-day mobilisation drive in greater Mubende was organised in preparation for the forthcoming nationwide campaign to increase agricultural production, productivity and profitability.
This campaign, will include regional agricultural expos and knowledge sharing sessions as well as health camps. It is designed to facilitate the implementation of H.E President Kaguta Museveni’s six policy proposals to develop the agricultural sector.
The President’s proposals include production, multiplication, distribution and certification of seeds and stocking materials; disease control; agricultural mechanisation and irrigation; farmer education and mobilisation; partnerships with big land owners and interventions in the fisheries sector.
Some of the participants at the event included teams from Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), NARO and other government and private agricultural institutions who shared knowledge and showcased value addition and agro processing technologies.
The Prime Minister hopes the campaign will enable the government to improve agricultural production, productivity and profitability for socioeconomic transformation.