Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Simple Insecticide Recipe using Tobacco to get rid of Aphids from your Garden

By Mary Nakirya

What you should have:

1 cup liquid dish soap

1 cup antiseptic mouthwash

1 cup chewing tobacco juice (Place 3 fingers of chewing tobacco in an old nylon stocking and soak in a gallon of hot water until mixture turns dark brown.)

Put mixture into a 20 gallon sprayer and fill the rest of the container with warm water. Spray on vegetables and plants every after one  week.

Do not spary on potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, egg plants or any other members of the Solanaceae family, using tobacco spray because it affects them too.


Post Harvet Handling

A farmer, Mukose Mudodi from Mayuge district planted 2 acres of maize. When ripe for harvest, he took his whole family of five to get the crop from the garden. That evening, and for the next three days, his wife sold the cobs either fresh or boiled at the market every evening. However, by the fourth day, the cobs were going bad already. He then decided to sun dry and mill them to get flour. Imagine the quality of flour that resulted? Also, imagine the degree of palatability to humans?

This is a common trend among farmers in Uganda. They are oblivious of the fact that as soon as a crop is removed from the ground, or separated from its parent plant, it begins to deteriorate; thereby calling for immediate post harvest handling.

In agriculture, postharvest handling is that stage of crop production immediately following harvest. It includes cooling, cleaning, sorting, processing and packing. Post-harvest treatment largely determines final quality, whether a crop is sold for fresh consumption, used as an ingredient in a processed food product or sold in a processed form. Post-harvest handling is one of the major determinants of the final quality. This is what farmers’ do not do often resulting in rot of their crops and/or price wars leading to lower prices as compared to cost of production.

Many farmers often do not take to this stage of farming because either they do not know how to or financial challenges crop in. Some of them are not even aware of the value added and especially in relation to cost. All Mukose Mudodi had to do was to sell his cobs fresh for the first day. After that, probably sun-dry them and obtain flour for sell. That way, he would be more in control of how much he sells his milled maize. In a milled form, he can store it till the bumper sells have decreased and the prices have gone higher.

Another issue of concern here is: does he have the money to mill it? Or the mill to do it himself? Does he have packaging materials? Poor post handling procedures for the maize crop for instance can lead to development of aflatoxins. These when consumed by humans can lead to stomach upsets and even death especially when taken in huge amounts.

To process or not to is a decision a farmer has to make even before planting the crop. That way, he/she will be more prepared and hence less losses

Water management and retantion in Agriculture

Water management must be considered in order to achieve good healthy crops and good harvest results. The main objective of good water management in the soil improves the availability of water to the plants through activities that enhance infiltration of rain water increase, soil water holding, and storage capacity, minimize evaporation from the soil and minimize loss and salinization.
Activities to achieve these objectives include measures to conserve water including runoff water harvesting.
Crop rotation in which deep rooted plants utilize surface water from deeper soil horizons
Surface residue mulching and cover cropping to decrease evaporation.
Improved tillage to enhance infiltration and residue surface runoff
Application of fertilizer or organic manure to promote vigorous crop growth
Use of drought tolerant crops in drier areas.
Make contours, garden water dams and other water management practices to achieve water retaining and good yields

Climate Change; A Threat to Lives in Uganda?

By Ssebaggala Peterson S.

Agriculture is one of the major activities in Uganda, a developing country. Agriculture highly depends on climate of any area. Once it is misused it can turn up to be a menace. Uganda is composed of a population of more than 28 million people. Half of this population lives in extreme poverty in rural areas.

More than 80% of Ugandans are peasant farmers and stay in villages where they earn barely a dollar per day. During heavy rains, gardens are flooded with water leading to loss of crops. Villages like Apac (district in the northern part of Uganda), the people at one point lost all their agriculture products and some lives. The dangers of these floods are more common in areas where trees have been cleared as people struggle to earn a living by cutting trees. This leaves the ground bare and susceptible to floods causing massive property destruction and hunger.

It is now becoming a routine that during dry periods that land is burnt in rural areas. This is because, the farmers especially cattle keepers have a belief that once an area is burnt, the grass germinates and grows faster. Also, some farmers are lazy and reluctant to cultivate using their hands; instead, they burn the grass and till the soil to plant.

The result is burning all the grass which affects the ecosystem. All the grass including seeds are burnt and some times since seeds are also burnt, germination becomes impossible.

Swamps are valuable and offer vital benefits including flood control, groundwater recharge, pollution cleanup, wildlife habitat, as well as recreation. However, in Uganda, It’s very unfortunate that in most of these swamps have been cleared and already replaced with roads and houses, hence making the areas susceptible to floods. These have washed away people’s food leading to hunger.

An example; Butalejja, a new district in the Eastern part of Uganda where most swamps have been cleared for cultivation of crops like rice and the result is stagnant water and floods leading to many cases of malaria in the area.

On top of drinking water for survival, it’s where we fish, swim and perform other recreational activities like camping and many more.

Clearing of land needs to be stopped in order to increase food security in the area and reduce hunger.

Farmers are advised to immediately replace the burnt and cut trees and stop the act of burning. This will increase food security and death dew to hunger.

Be Alert on Swine/Pig Flu

By Maria Nakirya


Swine flu also known as swine Influenza is a disease of the respiratory
System of pigs caused by a type of influenza that often causes epidemics of Influenza among pigs. This disease though originated from pigs can now be spread among human beings.

It is believed to spread in the following ways:
• From person to person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
• Touching one’s nose or mouth

Eating meat of pigs (pork) may not cause it because it is destroyed at a high temperature.

There is an outbreak of this flu in some parts of the world. The virus spreads so fast and hence every one should be on the alert and take precautions.

• Loss of appetite
• Fever
• Body weakness and pains
• Sore throat
• cough
• Severe pneumonia
• In some cases diarrhea and vomiting
• Death.

It is important to report symptoms of the flue as soon as noticed. This will reduce its impact as affected people will then be able to get urgent attention.

In case some one is identified with symptoms

• Avoid close contact with such people
• Cover your mouth and nose when caring for the sick person with a clean piece of cloth and through it in the dust bin after use
• Confine the person a separate room
• Wash your hands with soap/detergent and water after contact with such people

Farmers share farming tips…

“The orange sweet potatoes takes a short period to grow. In addition, they are also resistant to pests and  disease. In many cases, they are resistant to sunshine in dry conditions more than the local sweet potatoes.” A farmer explained during this year’s Knowledge Fair that was held in Mukunge Sub-county Masaka district.

Using the i-River recording device, tips on how to grow crops and rear animals particularly goats were recorded and uploaded on the BROSDI audio blog. These audio files are also available in both English and Luganda.

For a full narration on how to grow Sweet Potatoes and other crops, visit the BROSDI audio blog.