“Why do we invest in onion nurseries and demo plots? Because we don’t want our youth to end up as hobo’s and vagabonds, that’s why!”, Augustine laughs.
Augustine Okware has been an onion farmer in Kwapa, Uganda his whole life. He takes pride in his work and happily sacrifices a part of his land to an onion nursery so he can share his experience with the younger generation farmers. “High quality seedlings can make a big difference in the yield of a harvest. This way I can help other, younger farmers with getting a decent income,” Augustine explains.
VECO East Africa is assisting onion farmers in Kwapa with setting up several nurseries and demonstration plots, to showcase learnings and to share experiences. Kwapa farmers have been growing onions for generations, but traditionally they used to grow another variety of onion than the type they are growing now.
“We used to grow a variety of onions called ‘red bombay’. VECO suggested to switch to the ‘red creole’ type. Once harvested, these onions last much longer than the previous type.”, explains Patrick Paddy, another farmer, “It took some time to convince us (about 6 months), because the seeds of red creole onions are more expensive than those of red bombay onions, but the results speak for themselves!”