Archive for the ‘Local Content’ Category

Garlic and health

Garlic is one of the most valuable foods and widely recognized health enhancing supplement and it promotes the well being of the heart and immune systems. The antioxidant helps health blood circulation. One of garlic’s most potent health benefits includes the ability to enhance the body’s immune activity.

The active compound in garlic is the sulfur compound called Allicin and allicin is the chemical produced when the garlic is chopped, chewed or bruised. Eating garlic can help your body to reduce chances of developing dangerous diseases.

Cut garlic into small pieces and swallow them to avoid the bad smell it lives in the mouth or make it into powder and mix in your source you eat.

By Mulopi Joseph,CELAC Mayuge


Prevent New Castle with Sisal Roots

New castle disease is an acute contagious disease of chicken, characterized by respiration distress, nervous sings and death. The disease is highly fatal causing heavy mortalities and loss of egg production and it is caused by a new castle diseases virus. There are many strains of the virus which vary in virulence and clinical manifestation.

Transmission between sick and heath birds is by contact, but infection can also be spread through water and feeds. In areas where free range system is common, especially in rural areas the spread of the disease is fast giving rise to epidemic waves. Before death the birds show depression, coughing, difficulty in breathing and nervous signs. The nervous signs are manifested by twisted neck and paralysis. In laying birds there is severe drop in egg production.
A small type of colored sisal roots mainly found in the forestry can prevent the birds from the attack if crashed and mixed together with water.

•Get the roots of small sisal roots (roots from 4 plants add in 2 litter of water)
•Crash the roots after washing it properly.
•Mix with clean water.
•Add in some grains of millet to attract the birds.
•Place the mixture to the place where the birds feed daily.
•Change the water every day and the crashed roots every after two weeks.

By Mulopi J
Celac Mayuge


Bambara ground nut is a member of the family Fabaceae with the origin in West Africa; now grown as traditional food plant in Africa and it is known as it has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security foster rural development and support sustainable land care. The Bambara ground nut ripens its pods underground much like the peanut also called ground nut. They can be eaten fresh or boiled after drying. The local names in Lusoga it is called Mpande, Luganda Mpande, and Kiswahili Njugumawe.

Bambara ground nut represent the third most important grain legume in semi-arid Africa. It is resistant to high temperature and is suitable for marginal soils where other leguminous crops cannot be grown for it makes very little demand on the soil and has a high nutritive value with 60%carbohydrate, and 18% protein content.

For these reasons it is not prone to the risk of total harvest failure even in low and un-certain rainfall regions. Due to its high protein value it is a very important crop for poorer people in some African communities who cannot afford expensive animal proteins. The seeds are used for food and beverages because of its high protein content, and for digestive system application.

The entire plant is known for soil improvement because of high nitrogen fixation, and it can be grown as a single crop or intercropped with sorghum, maize, yams, cassava, and banana.

Bambara ground nut do best on sandy soils to prevent water lodging, and the soil fertility should be low with soil ph of between 5ph to 6.5ph and should not be low than 4.3 ph or higher than 7ph.

Pest and diseases are not a serious problem for Bambara ground nut as they tend to be resistant to the pests and diseases.

Bambara ground nuts are good source of minerals particularly K, Mg, and Fe. This legume can be useful in formulation of a balanced diet, and also useful in areas where these minerals are a deficient in diet.


Mulopi Joseph

Celac mayuge farmers net work.  


The way you manage your coffee garden it’s the more coffee it will produce; this can be achieved with minimum maintenance costs, if the farmer undertake proper management practices which include regular mulching with organic residues such as bean haulms, maize stalks, banana leaves, animal manure and coffee husks. The manorial values of these products arise from their decomposition to release nutrients.

Most farmers prefer putting shades in their coffee gardens than mulching as mulching is more tiresome than the shades, but shaded coffee gardens in most cases yields slightly less than un-shaded. UN shaded coffee receive high stands of management as it reduces input costs in respect of mulch, manure application and weeding.

Mulching coffee garden has the following benefits:

  • It preserves moisture during the dry periods.
  • It suppresses weed growth.
  • It supplies nutrients when it rots.
  • It improves rainfall penetration and prevents runoff and soil erosion.
  • It encourages root development in the feeding zone of the coffee which is normally in the top 30cm of the soil.
  • It increases the yields and improves the coffee quality.

If mulching materials is in short supply, mulch around each tree in the spread of branches of the tree.

There are some benefits in shaded coffee and this includes:

  • It reduces extremes of air temperature, particularly low temperature which can lead to leaf damage by hot and cold conditions.
  • It reduces soil surface temperature.
  • It reduces air movement in the coffee and speed down transpiration from the coffee trees.
  • It reduces leaf temperature, and this may prolong period of photosynthesis.
  • Leaves from shade trees provide mulching materials.
  • Shade reduces overbearing and leads to more ever annual cropping and prolongs longevity of the trees productive life.
  • Shade trees may form an important component of agro-forestry complex where they provide timbers or fire wood.
  • Shade trees fix nitrogen and some species contribute as much nitrogen per ha per year.

Alight shade cab be provided by planting 20 shade tree at the spacing of 40ft to 50ft per hectare.


Pruning is the regularly removal of suckers usually every two months in the recommended system of mature coffee. If suckers are allowed to overgrow, particularly during the main cropping season will rob the young berries of nutrients and lead to crop reduction. Using secateurs is highly recommended for this operation to minimize injury to plans. Cutting off weak and partly dead branches, ensure that the entire tree’s energy is directed to the young, healthy wood which will produce larger and heavier berries.

Change of cycle:

Depending on climate and soil, a tree becomes tall and difficult to harvest as the tree may reach 2.5 m to 3m in about 5 to 6 years. At this time a change of cycle should be affected. Pruning is done using a bow saw or a Sharpe pang, removing or the stems allowing only one vigorous stem which is left as a lung branch to encourage sucker growth. When the sucker are well developed, this stem is pruned off allow the development of the new suckers.

The pruning is done at the angle of about 45 degrees slanting downwards with a clean cut, the after 4 pruning cycles, the whole tree is stumped back to 30cm- 45cm above ground level.

Some of the general benefits of pruning:

  • It reduces humidity within the canopy, making the environment less favorable for pest and disease infestation.
  • Pruning facilities spray penetration if spraying is considered necessary to control pests and diseases.
  • It opens the tree to light for better flowering and fruiting.
  • It invigorates the plant.
  • It helps to maintain the correct balance between leaf and crop.
  • It facilitates the achievement of regular cropping through regulating of size of the crop.
  • Selective pruning ensures that healthy wood is available for carrying the next crop.
  • Pruning facilitates harvesting by controlling the shape and height of the coffee tree within manageable size.


Mulopi Joseph

Celac mayuge farmers net work.    



Managing a Vegetable Garden

Keeping the garden healthy and attractive requires attention; not only its size and the location but also to the soil, water viability, sunlight and air circulation in the garden. These environmental conditions can determine susceptibility to plant diseases. Diseased plants are unsightly and also detract from the enjoyment and fruits of the garden.

Home garden vegetable plants are affected every year and plant pathogens become established when environmental conditions are favorable. Losses can be reduced through proven disease prevention methods like:

  • Select adapted disease resistant varieties.
  • Use seeds or seedlings that are free from diseases.
  • Plant closely related vegetables in separate areas of the garden.
  • Rotate garden areas to prevent plating closely related vegetables in the same area year to year.
  • Control weeds that compete with vegetable or harbor plant pathogens.
  • Control insects that may carry disease.
  • Remove and destroy diseased plant materials.
  • Remove plant refuse soon after harvesting.
  • Apply fungicides appropriately and in time and when resistant varieties are not available.

Resistant varieties provide one of the ways to manage plant diseases in the garden. Resistance to a disease means that the plant is less likely to show symptoms than susceptible varieties. It does not mean that the plant is immune to that disease; resistance to one disease does not protect against other diseases and resistant varieties are recommended when a disease is known to occur in your area.

Observing a Growing Crop to Identify Nutrient Deficiencies

Mulopi Joseph

CELAC  Mayuge farmers’ network

The dominance of a particular grass, weed or shrub can indicate the soil fertility status. Example is the striga weed thrives in infertile soils. It is suppressed by application of organic or inorganic fertilizers.
Observing methods, however does not tell us which nutrients are in the soil and what quantities or proportions. Generally dark-color soils are assumed to be fertile and high in soil organic matter; and in most cases symptoms observed in a plant could be a result of nutrient deficiencies, disease or pest damage. It is therefore, important to start with close examination of the plant leaves, stem and roots to check for the insect or signs of diseases.

There are some general clues to nutrient deficiencies; visual observation assume that what is deficient in a crop is symptomatic of what lacking in the soil, and observation are made on the leaves, but sometimes on stems. A nutrient deficiency is suspected when the plant shows any of the following characteristics:
• Very poor initial crop
• Stunting in early growth.
• Restrict or abnormal root growth.
• Maturing too early or too late.
• Growth markedly different from crops growing close by poor quality products, appearance, taste and moisture content.
• Leaf symptoms that may be point to deficiencies of specific nutrients.

There are terms that can be used to describe nutrient deficiency conditions:
• Chlorosis.
Chlorosis is the generalized yellowing of the leaves caused by direct or indirect effect of the deficiency on the process of photosynthesis. When photosynthesis and chlorophyll (the green pigment) are reduced, other colored compounds can then become dominated and more visible. The leaves turn white if there is drastic reduction of chlorophyll.
• Necrosis.
This is the death of the entire plant or parts of the plant that are affected by the deficiency. The affected tissues become brown and die.
• Inter-veinal Chlorosis.
Inter-veinal Chlorosis the leaves become yellow in the between, but the veins themselves remain green, in grasses forming stripes.
• Firing.
Firing means yellowing followed by rapid death of the lower leaves of the plant starting from the bottom like the effect of fire.
Nitrogen is an essential component of amino acids, and thus of all proteins, and is needed for all cell division and reproduction. Plants which are deficiency in Nitrogen are generally stunted and with very light green or yellowish (chlorotic) Chlorosis of the entire leaf blade are followed by necrosis and leaf drop. This yellowing usually appears first on the lower leaves as the nutrient in the lower leaves is trans-located to the new growing areas of the plant in case of insufficient supplies from the roots.
The lower leaves may drop off before the top most leaves have lost their intense green color. However, this should not be confused with yellowing due to lack of sun light needed for photosynthesis. Plant growth is reduced and/or stunted.
Phosphorus is needed for cell division and for reproduction; therefore deficiency of phosphorus causes slow growth. Phosphorus promotes root establishment and formation of flowers. Phosphorus deficiency the leave become purple or dull bronzed (especially on the underside of the lower leaves) petioles and stems. The older leaves are affected first because phosphorus tends to be trans-located form the older to new growth leaves when in short supply.
Not all crops show signs of stunting or delayed maturity, and fruits drop pre-maturely. Flowering and fruiting are limited and plants are slow to form new roots and establish. Seedlings may not develop post emergence, cotyledons may yellow, shrivel and fall off.

*Potassium. (K)
Potassium increases the plant vigor and disease resistant and producing strong, stiff stems. Potassium also promotes production of sugar, starches, and oils, increase size of the grain and fruits and improves the overall quality of the crop.
Potassium deficiency result in reduced vigor increased disease problems, as well as small fruit with thin weak skins. Deficiency leaves are usually curled and show deficiency symptoms first, and in severe cases the dead areas may fall out leaving ragged edges in maize and other gasses, firing starts at the tips of the leaves and proceeds down to the leaf stalks, midrib green.
Plants tend to bend and break over and lodge due to weak stems or leaf stalks and show general stunted growth. Seeds and fruits become small and shriveled.

*Magnesium (Mg)
Magnesium is a key element in chlorophyll and is therefore essential in the photosynthesis process. Deficiency symptoms appear on older leaves in the latter part of the growing season.
Magnesium is a constituent of chlorophyll, so deficiency results in the yellowing (Chlorosis) of the leaves, between the veins, and then the leaves turn reddish purple as deficiency become severe. Necrosis may develop between the veins or along the leaf margin or tips, curling or dropping of the leaves may also occur.

*Calcium (Ca)
Calcium is a part of cell walls and regulates cell wall construction; also cell walls give plant cells their structural strength. Calcium is abundant in the soil, and it is usually difficult to notice a deficiency unless critical limits are attained. In calcium deficiency leaves may show spotted or nicrotic areas near the midrib.
In tomato fruit, deficiency is manifested as blossom end rot; calcium deficiency will also show up as weak stems as well as reduction of any new growth from the growing parts.

*Sulphur (S)
Sulphur occurs in certain amino acids and all proteins; it is a part of the flavor component in mustard and plants in the onion family. Sulphur deficiency symptoms are similar to those of nitrogen; however with diminishing supply of sulphur, small spindly and yellowish younger leaves stand in contrast to the normal older leaves.

*Zinc (Zn)
In zinc deficiency plants, terminal growth is affected first, causing severe retardation of leaf and shoot growth and resulting in small leave, short internodes, and rosettes of the leaves or excessive side branches. L eaves may also become bronzed or develop rusty brown flecks and it is easily recognizable in maize wit in two weeks of emergence. The upper leaves show a broad band of yellowing on the either or both sides of the midrib. As deficiency become severe, leaf edges crinkle and reddish purple pigment is noticed.
Stunting and shortening of the internodes can also be noticed, small thin yellow leaves as well as yields are symptoms of zinc deficiency.

*Manganese (Ma)
Manganese is crucial in plants enzyme systems, and for the synthesis of chlorophyll and assimilation of nitrate. Manganese deficiency is manifested by a mooted chlorotic appearance on the leaves (brownish, black or grey spots net to the veins) and growth is stunted. There may be patches with stunted growth and pale green to yellow foliage within an apparently healthy crop.
In the more acute stages of manganese deficiency light green parts may become white and nicrosis develop near the edges and the tips of the older leaves and extend to the base, causing leaf death. Twig growth is also reduced in most fruit crops.

*Boron (Bo)
Boron affects the absorption of other nutrients and is important in sugar transport within the plant, and it also affects the germination of the pollen tube once the pollen grains land on the stigma. Without this germination, the pollen is not available, seeds are not fertilized and fruits abort.
In boron deficiency, terminal growth shows resetting die back, discoloration and failure to elongate, leaves may curl, wrinkle, thicken or become brittle, petioles or stems maybe corky, cracked, or show water-soaked dead areas. Fleshy parts of fruits, tubers, or roots may show brown flecks, nicrosis, cracks and dry rot. Multiple buds may develop with a lack of boron, leave are small, and heart rot.

*Molybdenum (Mo)
Molybdenum helps the plant use the nitrogen and it is also essential for nitrogen fixation by nitrogen fixing bacteria in legumes. Plants lacking sufficient Mo, become nitrogen deficiency and the leaves turn pale green and have rolled or cupped margins (leaves may fail to unroll) tubers may fail to develop and seeds or glumes of the grains do not fill out. The symptoms are easily noticed in cabbage/brassica group where leaves become cup shaped presenting rolled appearance. The plant then twists in latter stage.

*Chlorine (Cl)
Chlorine is present in plants in small quantities and takes part in the photosynthesis reactions in which oxygen is liberated, and it is seldom deficiency under natural conditions, Chlorosis then wilting, and death of the leaves are some of the signs of deficiency.

Pulses (leguminous plants) Values and Management: Why farmers should avoid Certain Practices

Most pulses provide essential plant proteins in the food we eat and they are therefore a particularly important part of a balanced diet. This is especially for children, nursing mothers and elderly. They are also related and intercropped with other crop since they fix nitrogen in the soil.

Pulses belong to the family that include legumes such as cowpeas, soybeans, pigeon peas, beans, mucuna, tephrosia, and may wild plants. Cowpeas green pods and leaves when they are young and tender are eaten as vegetables.

Soybean is very valuable source of protein and is used to produce the highly nutritious soybean milk suitable for growing children; soybean oil is also nutritious and good for cooking.

Ground nuts are eaten roasted, used in ground nut stews, and used in producing cooking oil, shells can be used in mushroom planting and trashes can be fed to animals as fodder. The good principle for good yields includes:

  • Obtain certified seeds from registered deals or stores; good seeds can also be selected from healthy pest free and disease free plants from last season harvest.

What happens? Healthy seeds produce good crop stand, resistant varieties do not develop certain pest problem (e.g.  Wilt in cowpeas, rosette in ground nuts).

  • Select fertile soil a well drained soil; pulses are very sensitive to water-logging and flooded. So avoid water-logged or flooded soils.

What happens? Crops grown in water-logged places grow poorly and may die under disease pressure.

  • Plan crop rotation that you do not have pest in common; rotate pulses with maize, millet and sorghum, or with vegetables or roots and tuber crops.

What happens? Soil borne pests such as nematodes, striga or soil diseases do not build up in the soil, so crop plants remain free of these problems.

  • Adopt appropriate planting distances and planting patterners.

What happens? Crowding, which hampers growth and development, is avoided. Row planting makes crop management operation easer, and intercropping reduces pest and disease pressure and planting ground nuts densely will reduce infection by aphids as a virus carrier.

  •  Plant crops in time so that their growth coincides with low pest and disease incidence. Diseases are prevalent during the peak of the wet season (e.g. anthracnose) pest build up

What happen? Plants grow well in the absence of high insect pest and disease pressure; maintaining in time and escaping periods when pests and diseases are prevalent in the field.

  • Weed early and carefully; do early, shallow weeding and prevent weeds from flowering and produce seeds. Weed carefully with hand hoe, within the first 3 weeks after planting.

What happens? Less weeding is needed and there is less hand hoe damage to crop roots, weeds are prevalent from producing seeds and thus the weed problem is not perpetuated the flowing season.

By Mulopi Joseph, Celac mayuge district farmers’ network.

How to Plant Mushrooms at Home

Spawn is the seed which you can use for production of mushrooms; it is prepared by inoculating mushroom culture into sterilized grain media under stile conditions. The grain used is sorghum, wheat, and finger millet.

Mushrooms are cultivated indoor in plastic bags containing pasteurized (heated) organic substrate. The organic substrates may be crop residues like cereal straws, and Stover, bean or soybean trash, groundnut shells, or agro-industrial residues like cotton seed hulls, cotton ginning, textile residue, bagasse, brewery residue and sun flower peels.

A mushroom house should be partitioned into incubation room which should be warm and dark, and cropping room which is cool with light, good aeration and high humidity.

The house requires no erratic change in temperature, so it should have an insulated roof which can be easily provided by using grass thatch, or papyrus mats on the roof. Windows should face each other in the north-south direction to avoid direct sunshine in the morning and evening and it should have wire mesh instead of shutters in order to allow air and light and keep away insects.
The incubation room is kept dark and warm by having no windows and cools the cropping room by air circulation, sprinkling water in the room twice a day or keep porous clay pots full of water in the room to cool it.

Heat (pasteurize) the substrate at about 90c for at least 2 hours let it cool and drain excess water before packing in 4 kg plastic bags. Mix the spawn (seeds) with the substrate in plastic bag and the packed bags are then inoculated at 25c in the dark for three (3). During this period the spawn colonies the substrate and this period is called the spawn-run. After, the bags are slit and exposed to low temperature, humidity, aeration and light which stimulate the mycelia to form fruiting bodies which are the edible mushrooms.

Harvest mushrooms when caps are still curved downwards before shedding spores as caps are flattened out or curved upwards they are over mature and of low quality also lose weight and are more fibrous.

Harvest by hand twisting and pulling off the whole stem , and remove the whole stump from the substrate to avoid contamination and to inhibit further growth of mushroom on the space.
Pack fresh mushroom in plastic films and it can keep fresh at 4c for 4 days.

To preserve  mushroom,use  solar drying or sun drying .

Pack mushroom in dry clean container or in films. Dried packed mushrooms can be kept for one year (12 months).

By CELAC  Mayuge Farmers’ Network

Mushroom Nutritional and Medicinal Values:

Mushrooms are modern day health foods that are low in carbohydrates and fats, yet high in protein (20-to -40% protein dry weight basis and 4% on fresh weight basis) which is equivalent to milk protein and are rich in vitamins than most vegetables.

Mushrooms are recommended for diabetic and anemia persons because of their high folic acid content and valued for their therapeutic properties, while the polyscchariles in it is known to prevent the growth of cancer, tumors. They are also used in treating stomach and intestinal ulcers .

They have capacity to break down cholesterol in blood, thus it is good for people with hypertension, gout and other related problems.

Because of their  excellent flavor, it is said that early time mushrooms were regarded as a food for gods, warriors, gods,kings  and bridegrooms.

In some communities  mushrooms are thought to bring back life.

By Mulopi Joseph
Chairperson Celac Mayuge District Farmers Network.



As many trees are being cut down and little replacement is being done, the most useful trees have disappeared and yet we need them for our personal and medicinal uses. It is good if farmers develop a habit of collecting seeds of different types, and if you can make it a habit to carry small or old envelops so that you can collect any useful good and healthy tree seeds you come across.

 Collect only fully ripen seeds from strong healthy trees and that which are best examples of the trees available. Seeds in pods or fruits need to be removed and those which are sticky fruits needs to be soaked in water first before removing them then be dried properly for storage.

Seeds must be very well dried before storing, and use clear labels on each seed container for remembrance. Some seeds, especially those that are very hard may stay good for many years; however soft seeds such as Neem, kei-apple and moringa only keep for a few weeks. Use fresh seeds for planting whenever possible….Celac members learn to gather good useful seeds.

 By: Mulopi Joseph

 Celac Mayuge Distric