Over 200 farmers spread across 5 watersheds across the country have been skilled in smart greenhouse farming and production of quality fruit seedlings. These farmers are part of the beneficiary groups of the Farm Income Enhancement and Forestry Conservation Project (FIEFOC-2) targeted for promotion of horticulture enterprise and fruit tree seedlings production within the five irrigation schemes in Uganda. NaCRRI’s Horticulture Research Program is working in 5 irrigation schemes of Mubuku, Doho-II, Ngenge, Tochi, and Wadelai to enhance farmers’ access to food, nutrition and income generating enterprises.
In July 2022, the project completed the construction of fruit seedlings nurseries for all the watersheds to support production and access to quality fruit seedling planting materials. These have the capacity to produce over 20, 000 seedlings of different crops per season. Furthermore, the project constructed greenhouse to address issues of climate change and whole year production of vegetables. The greenhouse has the capacity to hold over 200 plants every 3-4 months thus allowing for 4 seasons in a year and a production output of 3-5 tons per season.
Idd Ramathan the Project Principal Investigator says that to fully operationalize these infrastructures within the watershed, there was need to train selected beneficiaries on greenhouse farming.
“Nursery establishment and management was one of the biggest skills gaps among our target farmers,” he says
In a set of trainings conducted in August 2022 farmers were skilled in raising mango and citrus rootstock, seed selection, processing, and planting. Other techniques trained were media preparation to support seed germination as well as growing and developing seedlings. “Specifically, the trainings also helped farmers learn how to fill pots with media, prick seedlings, scion/rootstock selection and grafting,” said Rehema Naluyimba, one of the lead trainers.
To-date, 6,930 beneficiaries have been trained in different aspect of producing and managing different horticulture enterprises namely; Tomato, Cabbage, eggplant, watermelon, onions and fruit seedling production practices under the project. Five greenhouses have been operationalized for growing tomato and sweet pepper and five mother orchards have been established with different varieties of mango (Kakule, Tommy Atkins, Taka taka, Keitt , Parvin ) and Oranges ( Hamlin, Washington Navel and Valencia) and maintained in the five scheme.
The Farm Income Enhancement and Forestry Conservation project (FIEFOC-II) is a five-year initiative that is being carried out in 40 districts that make up the Wadelai, Tochi, Ngenge, Doho II, and Mubuku II watersheds and catchments.
It aims to improve household incomes, food security, and climate resilience through sustainable natural resources management and agricultural enterprise development. The project is jointly managed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) and the Ministry of Water & Environment (MWE), and funded by the African Development Bank.