My name is Stephen Ongaria studying for BSc. Education Agriculture at Gulu University. I started a vegetable enterprise project with an aim to transform the community through sustainable commercial vegetable enterprise growing mainly Sukumawiki, Onions and Tomatoes in Usuk sub-county, Katakwi District, Eastern Uganda.
The business has good market throughout the year and can provide self-employment to the youth and women in my community thus improving the livelihood of the people.
I chose this business because I have the highest competitive advantage in that, the market is readily available throughout the year with the demand for them always high, most of the vegetables here in my community markets are brought from the far districts of Mbale, Sironko, and Kapchorwa. There for am among the very few people who grow these vegetables in my community.
I have used about Uganda shillings Shs. 250,000 as starting capital for this project, however the revenue is estimated at Ug.Shs. 4million per harvest season (3months). However, on an irrigation system, three (3) seasons can be realized in a year earning a revenue of Ug.Shs. 12million.
I run this project at family level but I also train and sensitize some few youths in my community on vegetable growing for both commercial and home consumption. It’s therefore good to note that some few people within the community have also started adopted the idea. From my project, (only sukumawiki right now) I have started earning Ug.Shs. 70,000 weekly and hopefully by next month-October, I will have started earning from both the tomatoes and onions too. From the tomatoes, currently a kilogram goes at Ug.Shs. 3,000 and I expect about 200Kgs. This gives me Ug.Shs. 600,000. From the onions, currently a kilogram goes at Ug.Shs. 5,500 and I expect a harvest of about 400Kgs, however I will sell mine at a subsidized price of Ug.Shs. 5,000 giving me Ug.Shs. 2million.
In addition to this, I have also planted one and a half hectares of cassava at Ug.Shs. 250,000 and I expect at harvest time to earn about Ug.Shs. 5million. together with the cassava, I have inter cropped green peas and I expect to earn about Ug.Shs. 500,000 from it.
In all these activities, I pay about 10 people who help me provide labor.
Also currently am harvesting the Groundnuts which was planted early at the start of rainy season. Though the harvest is really not that much good, due to changing patterns of rain but I have been able to get about 8bags of groundnuts worth Ug.Shs. 900,000.