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Farmers making millions from potato vines

By Christopher Bendana

Added 23rd December 2016 03:06 PM

Lwanyaga gets 200 bags of vines per harvest on an acre, with each bag selling at sh15,000.

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Vincent Lwanyaga and other farmers are gaining from potato vines. (Credit: Christopher Bendana)

Farmers across the central region of Uganda are making millions of shilling from selling potato vines.

Gardens in Mpigi, Masaka and Rakai are planted with NASPOT 8 and NASPORT 12 (Kipapaali series), a Vitamin A orange sweet potato not for tubers but for vines to sell to other farmers.

One such farmer is Vincent Lwanyaga, a potato seed farmer in Kikoota, Nnindye Buyanga Parish in Nkozi, in Mpigi district.

The chairperson for sweet potatoes central region has five acres of potatoes grown purposely for vines. He harvests vines five times before the potato losses its vigour.

Lwanyaga gets 200 bags of vines per harvest on an acre, with each bag selling at sh15,000.

 Beverley Postma visited Rakai along with a team. (Credit: Christopher Bendana)


Milly Namugera of Kalisizo town council is another farmer who has taken sweet potato seed production as a business.

She says she harvests 150 bags of vines per harvest on each acre of her five-acre garden. She does it three times a season and sells a bag at between sh15,000 and sh20,000.

The potatoes that are rich in Vitamin A are becoming a preference for many in the region because of their health benefit.

Beverley Postma is the chief executive director of HarvestPlus. Recently on a field visit to Rakai, she donated a water pump to Miti Farmer Field School in Bunyonyi, Rakai district to help them produce more vines so that the surrounding areas adapt to growing the Vitamin A orange sweet potato.

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