It is estimated that post harvest loses in Uganda are 12 and 25% at the farm level.
This is one of the biggest challenges faced by Ugandan farmers. However, according to Mahmood Kikomeko a farmer in Nakaseke district, the rate of loses is greatly reducing.
Speaking to us from his one and half acres garden, Kikomeko attributed this to the new farming skills acquired as well as equipments that add value to their products.
He revealed to us that farmers had been taught good farming and storage techniques by Sasakawa Global 2000, an NGO that aims for more food-secure rural Africa through increasing numbers of prospering smallholder commercial farmers.
“We were taught good farming methods like row planting and spraying using insecticides,” he revealed.
“We were advised to form groups and I already belong to one group where we have a saving and lending scheme.” He adds that through this saving scheme, he has been able to acquire modern storage methods.
“I currently store my food crops in pits bags. Pits bags are air tight and hardly penetrated by insects and rodents.”
They have also been taught baking and their group owns a confectionery from where they bake bread, doughnut and Bagiya among other things.
This is sold off to boost their daily incomes. Kikomeko further added that all their produce is sold off collectively and this gives them a higher bargaining power than when sold individually.
On the same farm, Kikomeko constructed a 10000 ltr dam where he collects water during the rainy season and uses it during the dry season.
He also boasts of a poultry house that he says cost him Shs5million to put in place together with 350 hens.
Speaking to us, Oliver Namiryo, the Sasakawa Global 2000 programs director who had visited Kikomeko and other farmers to check on their progress intimated that on their arrival in Nakaseke, farming methods in that area was wanting.
“The reason why Nakaseke is among the first beneficiaries of our project is because it is a cattle corridor. We wanted to help farmers to cope up with the climate and improve their livelihoods. Some even didn’t have what to eat when we first came here. At the moment, there is improved food security. They can afford three meals and even manage to keep some,” she said adding that this was achieved through their help and advise to the farmers.
“We advised them to start up groups to sustain themselves. Progress between 2000 to now is at 80% in increased food security.”
Actually Nakaseke is not the only beneficiary from the project but also 15 other districts. Among these include; Ntugumo, Mukono, Jinja, Tororo, Iganga, Gulu, Oyam, Kamuli, Nakaseke, Dokolo, Apac, Lira, Mityana and Kamwenge.
Sasakawa is now in plans of extending their project to other districts.