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Mirembe's harvest of hope in Uganda

One of the farmers benefitting from the Uganda Value-Added Maize Alliance (UVAMA) is Best Mirembe from Igunda, Mayuge district. She says she owes all her success to perseverance, hard work, and training from UVAMA.

“I learned about the UVAMA [program] through our lead trainer, Badru Sserujogi. He coordinated different farmers in our region to attend training[s] which lasted a full week. In the training, we learned how to pick, properly dry, shell, and also store maize,” Mirembe says. Prior to these trainings, Mirembe would plant around 20 kg of maize seeds on one acre of land, which produced minimal returns. Not knowing the proper maize growing techniques, she would often plant up to 10 seeds in one hole, which gave her a meager 10 sacks of maize during harvest.

This all changed, however, after she participated in the UVAMA training program. Mirembe and a group of farmers planted the same amount of maize seed --20 kg-- on two acres of land instead of one, and used the planting, production and postharvest handling techniques taught by the UVAMA and AgroWays staff. This time, she was able to harvest 30 sacks of maize – a tripling of production. “I appreciate UVAMA for the techniques and knowledge they have instilled in us. Right now, I am in a position to educate my children from the income I get after selling the produce and also train more farmers in our region,” she says.

Mirembe has become a role model in the village and many of her neighbors are interested in adopting these best practices as well. “In the future, we plan to open up an association to train more farmers in our area on how to grow maize,” Mirembe says.

 

Published September 2015