From subsistence to commercial Cassava planting

By Charity Chelangat

Located in Arit Latwong village, Gem Onyot parish Acholibur Sub County, Gen Badi Farmer group is made up of 30 farmers; 21 females and 9 males. The group started receiving support from Oxfam’s cassava project from July 2015 to December 2015.

“We received support training sessions in September 2015, covering areas of cassava agronomy, post-harvest handling and storage, farming as a business, village savings and loans associations. After the training, we established two cassava multiplication sites and 1 demonstration site,” says the chairperson of the farmer group Apwonyo Dina. 

In 2016, the cassava project was rolled out and Gen Badi Farmer Group, supported by our partner A2N-Uganda, planted 1 cassava demonstration, Participatory Variety Selection site and 1 multiplication site. This aimed at enabling the farmers’ group to have clean and improved planting materials that would increase their production in terms of food availability and increase their income in the long run.

“In February this year,” said Acaye Bosco, the group’s secretary, “we harvested from one of our multiplication sites and added some value by chipping and drying the cassava. The market however, was a challenge; we tried hard to sell our cassava chips at 1000shs per kilogram but because of few buyers, we ended up selling to a local buyer from Lira at a lower price of 750shs per kilogram.” The gains from the sales made were divided among the group members and they bought individual plots of land as well as pay their children’s school dues. 
Regarding future plans, Gen Badi group members intend to plant four new cassava multiplication sites (both individually and as a group) at the onset of the first rains in order to produce more for trade. 

“We are very grateful for the work Oxfam and A2N are doing for our group,” Apwonyo Dina said, “This has made our group stronger than before as we continue to do the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) meetings every Mondays and joint farm work for the group.”