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KARAMOJA TEACHER SUPPLEMENTS SALARY WITH VEGETABLE FARMING

Moses Kaukon at his garden in Moroto district

BY TIMOTHY EODU

MOROTO: FRIDAY, AUGUST 05, 2022

Moses Kaukon, says the vegetable gardens have helped him to supplement his salary, provide food for the family and also teach small scale gardening to other farmers.

He teaches at Musas primary school in Katikekile Sub-County, 19km from Moroto town in Karamoja Sub-region.

His demonstration sized gardens have tomatoes, bean, maize and other vegetables like spider plant and amaranthus.

Moses Kaukon saves expenses on vegetables by harvesting from his garden. He also sells vegetable to the community

Kaukon said he spotted the niche when he realized that people in this area were spending between sh15,000 and sh20,000 to go to Moroto town just to buy vegetables.

Most food vending shops in Katikekile are dealing in mainly beverages and items like salt, sugar, soap and biscuits, not fresh foods from the garden.

According to him, starting the project has not only inspired the community around him but is also earning him decent money from the sale of farm produce.

“Very many people come here to learn and also buy food especially tomatoes, beans and greens which is doing very well here because of the fertile soils,” Kaukon said.

Kaukon’s average daily sale of vegetables is sh25,000, translating into sh750,000 per month.

Because of the high demand, the teacher now plans to expand the size of the garden so that he can produce more for the readily available market in the area.

However, he called upon the government to support farmers who wish to start cultivating in Karamoja with seeds and some other farm inputs including pesticides.

“If we had all these inputs, by now our crops could have had the best yields but the army-worm and weather spoiled things,” he said.

Kaukon advised farmers to always clear their gardens early enough so that they can use the first rains to plant quick maturing crops like greens and beans and get rid of famine.

Karamoja always experiences long dry spell and when rains return, they tend to cause flash floods leading to crop losses and lack of food security.

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