Farm Africa is spicing up Uganda’s chilli sector

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Farm Africa

Premium Supplier 20th December 2019

Farm Africa is spicing up Uganda’s chilli sector

In Lira, northern Uganda, too many farmers are struggling to afford basic necessities like food, healthcare and even a safe home for their children.

Poverty here is widespread and earning a decent living through farming is extremely hard, as people lack good seeds, tools, and resources.

For many families just being able to feed their children is a daily struggle. Trying to pay for their schooling is almost impossible. Children often have to drop out of education very early, sometimes even before they finish primary school.

But change is around the corner, and it could start with a small seed.

With support from aBi Development Ltd, international charity Farm Africa is providing farmers with high-quality chilli seeds, which can grow into profitable businesses, creating brighter futures for entire families.

Farmers in Lira have been growing chillies for many years, a variety called African bird’s eye. However, a decline in the quality of available seeds has driven down the quality of chillies being produced and with it the price and interest from buyers.

Yet, the global chilli market is actually thriving! From every corner of the world, the demand for African bird’s eye chillies has gone through the roof.
Farm Africa’s Chilli project is helping 3,000 farmers improve the quality of their chillies so they can sell their produce at a much higher price, earn a decent income, and create a better future for their families.

First, the farmers are given access to affordable, high-quality seeds.

Then they join Farm Africa’s training sessions and learn the best ways to cultivate their chillies and meet the high standards demanded by international markets.

Finally, farmers will learn how to maintain the high quality of their crops by using organic fertilisers and pesticides made from chilli itself; and learn how to dry their chillies using solar drying racks, which speed up the drying process and prevent contamination.

By improving the quality of their chillies, farmers will be able to sell their produce at a much higher price, earn a decent income, and create a better future for their families.

Tom (pictured above) is a determined and ambitious farmer who has taken every new piece of knowledge he has learnt from Farm Africa and is using it to grow his business.

“The income I make is not enough to cater for all my family’s needs. It’s not enough to pay for medical bills or feed the children. And when I fail to pay the school fees, the children have to drop out of school. But now I’ve joined the Chilli project. Above all, it was the seeds and the technical support that Farm Africa offer that made me join. So far, I have already learnt the best ways to prepare my land and how to manage the chilli properly. I have learnt about spacing the plants and, most importantly, I’ve learnt how to make organic pesticides from chilli itself to prevent pests and diseases. I have also learnt about post-harvest handling.”

Tom is looking at his new chilli plants with revived hope:
“I expect my income to double after my chilli harvest. With the additional income, I will pay for medical bills and school fees. I’ll also buy more seeds and hire more land for chilli farming! I would also like to balance the family’s diet at least once in a while. But my main concern is school fees, because if the children stop going to school, they have no future.”

Since joining the project and learning all about chilli production, Tom is looking forward to a brighter future, for himself and his family. The Chilli project is boosting farmers’ morale and is already having an incredible effect on their income and ability to provide for their families.

There are, however, many more farmers like Tom across eastern Africa who are still struggling to provide for their families and pay for their children’s education. A donation from you to Farm Africa today will help deliver essential training to more farmers across eastern Africa so they too can change their futures. www.farmafrica.org/donate/from-small-chilli-seeds-to-big-change