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Soroti's sorghum success story

By Titus Kakembo

Added 10th July 2019 04:29 PM

One of agents, Edward Etedu of Akolrioto Agro Inputs in Olio beams with a smile of satisfaction while talking about the changes in his life.

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One of agents, Edward Etedu of Akolrioto Agro Inputs in Olio beams with a smile of satisfaction while talking about the changes in his life.

AGRICULTURE
 
Sorghum production in Soroti has lately overwhelmed the consumers following the volume harvested shooting from 17, 000 tons to 35, 000 tons in the last two years triggered by aBi Trust and Ministry of Agriculture introduction of bulking and improved planting interventions among more than 9000 farmers.
 
“The farmers are split in groups of 30 each,” says an Acila Enterprise Services staff in Soroti Ben Akabwai, “This is dramatically changing fortunes among farmers. They now buy fertilizers to improve the quality of the soil. On top of that they plant seeds that are resistant to pests and capable of withstanding harsh climate conditions.”
 
On top of that we conduct seminars that equip them with better skills on postharvest handling. There are agents who enable bulking and delivering of produce who, economically, transfer the transportation costs to the consumers.
 

 

 
“More agricultural produce means the creation of more: income, food, jobs for loaders, transporters and accountants,” says Akabwai.. “The agents are availed loans to buy the produce from the farmers at good prices, not the way middlemen used to fleece farmers.”
 
Downtown, Soroti is a bulking center in the Industrial Area which is equipped with a modern cleaner of seeds and safe storage. These agents earned sh119, 000, 000 as commission from their purchases that earn them sh50 per kilogram. And the volume of sorghum purchased shot from 1,500 tons to 1, 848 tons.
 
One of agents, Edward Etedu of Akolrioto Agro Inputs in Olio beams with a smile of satisfaction while talking about the changes in his life.
 
“I have been able to build a commercial house in Olio trading center where the produce is delivered by subsistence farmers,” says Etedu. “I am supplied by more than 400 farmers from different corners of the neighborhood. We meet once every month to address our challenges, share business ideas and trends in the market.”
 
Besides buying oxen to ease opening up new farmland, Etedu’s business has increased from collecting hundreds of seeds to three tons per year. Parents who were challenged to foot the feeding, treatment and school fees of their families are now able.  
Enoch Erugu’s are no mean achievements after ably feeding, accommodating and educating his two wives and 14 children.
 

 

 
“The cost of living is too high but sorghum has enabled me to brave all the odds in my life,” says Erugu. “After adopting climate-smart farming methods I am almost completing building a two-roomed house after buying four bulls to enable me address the shortage of workers to open up land for farming.”
 
He intends to equip it with solar energy to stop dependence on firewood which has health and environment hazards. The household is visibly equipped with cooking gear, cutlery and furniture to enable the residents have a decent life. They intend to move to a spacious house which is still under construction.
 
“Given solar or biogas, in future, the children will have more hours to read their books at night,” says Erugu. “And my wife will not have to breathe in the smoke that makes her eyes tear when cooking.”
 
 

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