Cassava farming in Uganda

Cassava farming in Uganda has been mostly done for home consumption and on a small scale however many of the farmers are embracing commercial cassava farming due to the high demand on the market. Cassava is one of the most consumed tubers in the country and it can be eaten as whole tubers or dried and then flour made out of it. Cassava tubers are in high demand especially when schools are open and farmers are venturing into cassava farming due to the fact that it requires low input and yet it yields more profits. Cassava farmers will always have a market for their products because cassava is in demand all throughout the year.

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Lucrative Cassava Farming In Uganda

As you plan on starting a lucrative commercial cassava farming business, please note the following so that you get a profitable business.

  • The cassava cuttings that are harvested are replanted in the next season. However you can still plant the improved varieties and mix them with the local varieties.

  • The healthy cassava stems and tubers can easily be identified by the strong branches, leaves and the lush foliage that they have.

  • When choosing the best stems for replanting, the best varieties are those that are rich in dry matter and can adapt easily to the ever changing weather.

Suitability Of Cassava Growing

Site selection: selecting the right place where you are planting your cassava is the first thing to consider as you start cassava farming. You need to carry out an extensive study about the place and the soil in order to see whether it is suitable for cassava planting. The following is what you need to identify while selecting the site for the cassava garden:

  • Check the soil to make sure it is suitable for cassava growing.

  • The weather experienced in the area

  • Adequate rainfall for the growth of cassava

Cassava Varieties in Uganda

Cassava varieties: there are several varieties that are on the Ugandan market and farmers get to choose either two or six varieties. The local varieties in Uganda include NASE 19, NASE 14, AKENA, Tim-tim also known as Alodo-Alodo and Ebwanaterak. Make sure you plant cassava that is drought resistant.

Planting of cassava

Cassava can be planted with other crops because this improves the soil quality. Cassava stems are the ones that are placed in the ground when it comes to planting of cassava. The cassava stems can be planted either horizontally, vertically and diagonally and this is done with two cuttings placed together. The best way to ensure that the cassava stems germinate is by placing the two pieces of stems ¾ of their length and with the knots facing upwards because if they face upwards then it will be hard for the cassava to grow. When you place the cassava stems sideways of each other, it eases harvesting of the cassava.

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Pests and diseases attacking cassava

pests and diseases are one of the things that hinder the proper growth of cassava and the best way to avoid them is by spraying fungicide and pesticides, soil testing before planting and also using cassava varieties that are disease resistant. Some of the cassava pests include grasshoppers, white flies, mealy bug and cassava green-mite. Diseases that attack cassava include cassava green mottle, cassava common mosaic and cassava symptomless infections.

Harvesting of cassava

cassava tubers are always ready for harvesting after 12 months from planting although some take less or more months. The cassava tubers are best harvested during the dry season and the first step of harvesting is cutting the stems at a height of about 24cm from the ground. You need to keep these stems safe because some of them will be used for replanting.

The first sign that shows that the cassava is ready for harvesting is when the leaves turn yellow and start falling off. Harvesting is carried out in three stages and these are:

  • First you need to cut off the stems and prepare them for either re-planting or selling to other farmers.

  • After cutting off the stems, dig out the roots which are sold to the market as tubers or first dried to make cassava flour.

After harvesting, the following can be done with the cassava roots and sold to the different identified target market.

  • Cassava flour factories

  • Liquor factories

  • Food processing companies.

Cassava farming comes with lots of benefits and some of these include cassava is drought resistant, it is extremely good at weed controlling, has a never ending market demand with many clients both within and outside the country and it has very low start-up costs.

In conclusion, cassava farming is one of the best ways in which farmers can earn extra income while at the same time getting food for their homes. And since cassava is in demand all year round, we can conclusively say that cassava farming is a lucrative business that every farmer should try out.