President commends Izaniro onion project on investment

Tuesday 17th June 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has commended the Izaniro onion project in Izana, village, Kamuli district for engaging in a cost effective project to improve their incomes, insisting there is no reason for somebody to be poor when they have land.

“That is poverty of ignorance and I don’t want to be neighbours which such people. You can’t have a talent and just sit on it without knowing what to do,” he said.

The President who has been on a tour of Kamuli district was yesterday meeting the Bakulika group which is part of the Izaniro Onion project initiated by former Minister and member of parliament Hon. Isaac Musumba.
“I want to commend Musumba for becoming a teacher. It is like he is shading off his skin to fit into something bigger. The people in the developed world used to be like us until they engaged in modern agro production. For somebody to have land and stay poor is unacceptable,” he said.

He cautioned, however, that more research on the market availability for immediate sales of onions should be done.

“We should check the international market for onions because I don’t want to promote what we can’t sustainably market. We have to process them and market outside,” he said.

The President pledged Shs 20million towards the group for construction of the drying shade and storage facility and another Shs 30miilion towards the procurement of a vehicle to transport the produce.

Former MP for Buzaaya County, Hon. Isaac Musumba who initiated the project for the people of Kamuli and Kiyunga said he wanted to change the farmers’ mindset from bulk low value crops on large scale to high value production on small scale.

The first batch of community members (200) joined the pilot project and agreed to grow onions on quarter an acre for a season.

Each was allocated quarter an acre on a group farm and 250g of Jamber F1 hybrid onion seeds.

The farm managers also provide weekly tutorial classes on the best husbandry practices for the crop.

It takes five months for this type of onion to be ready for harvest and with good husbandry; each onion can weigh up to 250 grams. From each 250g of seeds, one can harvest up to 5000kgs of stock.

According to Musumba once the farmer’s yield is harvested, it is packaged on the farm for sale to exporters at a farm-gate price of UGX1500 per kilo. A farmer can earn up to Shs 7million.

The farm director advances the farmers with the land, Jamber F1 hybrid seeds, pesticides and fungicides in this project and later all expenses are recovered from the post-harvest proceeds.

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