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Cassava value chain/ Uganda – Boost quality by supplying improve cassava inputs

07 June 2015

In Uganda, farmers have been catering for their seed needs by saving part of their harvest, without considering the quality of seed. Due to a lack of formal seed system for cassava, Coalition, Health, Agriculture and Income Network (CHAIN), has engaged at providing quality cassava seed to farmers in the country. The aim of the organization is to develop seed system which will ensure farmers access to quality planting input and improve their livelihoods. This will also reduce the risk of spreading diseases to areas which have been disease free and reduce crop losses. The network builds capacity to smallholder farmers engaged fully in the cassava value chain. According to the CHAIN’s Programmes Director, Erick Lerner illustrated that farmers are trained in good agronomic practices, seed management and pest control. Moreover, smallholder farmers are taught how to manage farming as a business through book keeping and other financial skills. Field extension officers supply cassava seeds from Namulonge and Serere agricultural research stations and supervise adoption of best agricultural practices while checking the progress, thus farmers are ensured of quality seeds and planting material needed to boost cassava production. Cassava, which can grow well on marginal lands, is one of the most important staple foods in Uganda. The programme director revealed that cassava should be planted at the beginning of a rainy season. This allows it to benefit from nitrogen flush for healthy plant growth. If planted late, it may miss out on nitrogen flush. Early planting also allows the plants to withstand pests and diseases that appear later in the rainy season.


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