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THE KAYUNGA FARMER WHO ADDS VALUE TO HIS PRODUCE

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th October 2009 03:00 AM

The name Joseph Kizito Luwalira rings a bell to almost every resident of Kayunga town. This is because, the talkative, medium size man is not only a town businessman, but also a famous farmer.

The name Joseph Kizito Luwalira rings a bell to almost every resident of Kayunga town. This is because, the talkative, medium size man is not only a town businessman, but also a famous farmer.

By Joshua Kato

The name Joseph Kizito Luwalira rings a bell to almost every resident of Kayunga town. This is because, the talkative, medium size man is not only a town businessman, but also a famous farmer.

His trademark high quality maize, with the label, JLK, is sold all over the country. He drives a Pajero and owns other vehicles, too.

The location of his farm a long the Kayunga-Busana road gives it easy visibility.

Luwalira is an example of a farmer who grows crops and adds value to his produce before selling, something that the government has been promoting.

He owns farms in different parts of Kayunga. A maize shamba at Kyampisi, a piggery at Kyampisi, a chicken house at Kayunga and a pineapple and maize shamba near Busaana. The JLK maize mill also belongs to him.

“Farming is my main business,” he says. He has over 100 acres of land, with at least 80 under crops.

In April, he had 40 acres under maize. “I do not sell my maize raw,” he said. It is processed at one of Luwulira`s maize mills. While the maize was packed in sacks for sale across the country, the by products, like maize brand were turned into animal feeds. “Without adding value to this maize, we would sell it at sh500 a kg, however, with value added, we sell the same kg at sh1,200,” he says. An acre of Longe6, which he plants, if well nurtured can produce at least four tonnes. 40 acres can produce 160 tonnes.

“In this cycle of value addition, I produce the food that feeds my animals. I save a lot of money through this process,” he says. When you are looking for a focused farmer, Luwulira is one. He knows his farm better than the back of his palms.

“If you do not know your farm, then you cannot manage it. This is why many people who invest in agriculture, but rarely visit their farms fail, because of frustration,” Luwulira advises.

Once he focused on his commercial destiny, he vowed to do everything by himself. “I have been growing maize for over four years,” he says. When The New Vision visited, a dry spell had been running through Kayunga for sometime. However, Luwulira`s maize was doing well. “This is because I use tractors to prepare the shamba for planting. Tractors dig five times deeper than an ordinary hoe, hence enabling the plant to draw water from deep,” he says. For every acre, he hires the tractor at sh70,000. This means that for his entire 40 acres of maize, he spent over sh3m on the tractor alone. This sounds big, but to Luwulira, it is just an investment. “This money comes back through good yields,” he says. He also uses fertilisers and sprayers on his farms.

Keeping animals is Luwulira’s other business. He rears pigs on a fairly large scale and keeps chicken too. “On average, I have around 100 pigs at any one time,” he boasts. Among the breeds he has include the Camborough and the Large White. Though, sometimes, the pigs are affected by diseases, he says piggery is a very well paying venture. “If they are well fed, each can produce an average 12 piglets. Each piglet goes for between sh60,000 and sh100,000,” he says.

Also note that pigs can produce twice a year. “I sell between 60 and 100 piglets every after six months,” he boasts. Among his main customers include the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS). His winning formula for keeping pigs is to feed them well, de-worm and sell them at the right time.

Pineapples occupy over 15 acres. This means that he has over 150,000 plants of pineapples, since every acre takes 10,000 plants. Kayunga is the leading producer of pineapples in the country. But unlike the maize to which he adds value, he sells the pineapples on the shamba.

“The market for these fruits is big. It goes to as far as the Sudan and Congo,” he says. He also sells pineapple suckers to other farmers, including NAADS.

He also has water melon and two and half acres of the delicious ‘goowa’ sugar canes. Each of them goes for sh1,000 on the farm. Farming, he says is very challenging. “But to earn in any field, you have to fight and overcome the challenges,” he said.

He employs over 20 people on the farm and at the maize mill.

Factfile
Name: Joseph Kizito Luwulira.
Farm location: Kayunga district.
Enterprises: Maize, pineapples, chicken and pigs.
Marketing: Produces maize flour and sells pineapples on open market.
Contact: 0752510829, 0392940301.

THE KAYUNGA FARMER WHO ADDS VALUE TO HIS PRODUCE

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