Ugandan Youth Farmer Dreams Big for Her Little Plantation of Nourishing Crops
Angella Atero
September 8, 2020

Nabirye Scovia, 26, has two children with her husband Allan Mukembo. Scovia is a commercial farmer who lives with her family in the village of Bugwara south, located in Magogo Sub County of Uganda’s Kamuli district.  

Introduced to the life of farming at a young age, as soon as she got married at 16,  this year she has managed to produce a super harvest. After growing biofortified Vitamin A orange sweet potato for the past few years, this year she devoted part of her land to planting 30 kilograms (kg) of biofortified iron beans in the first planting season of 2020, and followed the recommended agronomic practice as taught by field extension workers from Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO). VEDCO is an implementing partner of HarvestPlus in Uganda under the USAID Meals for Nutrition Biofortified Solutions in Uganda (MENU) project, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development under the United States Feed the Future Initiative. 

Despite heavy rains during the season, Scovia was able to harvest 223 kg of iron beans. She sold 150 kg from her harvest and earned about 675,000 UGX (USD 182). She reserved 73 kgs for planting in the second season this year.

Empowered with earnings from her produce, Scovia wants to diversify her investments and has heard of promising returns from starting an animal farm. For this purpose, she has used part of the earnings to start a pig farm. She bought four piglets for about USD 43. She also invested part of the money in poultry, purchasing three chickens costing about USD 12. She is currently using silage from orange sweet potato vines to feed her pigs.

Scovia wants to provide a better standard of living for her family and that is why she is expanding her businesses; alongside growing nourishing biofortified crops, she is exploring options for livestock rearing and management. She bought new clothes for her children and has even brought home a 4-inch mattress for comfortable sleep at night. 

“I expect in the next 6 months to acquire a cow from my pig and poultry projects and after a year, my dream is to acquire a plot of land in Kisozi town and set up rentals. Today, hunger is a thing of the past, my children are fed on orange sweet potatoes, iron beans, and eggs, they are nice looking and healthy. I am happy my household income is increasing, and I call upon my fellow farmers in Buteme and outside Buteme to join HarvestPlus/VEDCO programs,” said Scovia.

Scovia’s family is one of 960,000 smallholder farming households that were growing and eating OSP by the end of 2019, through programs supported by HarvestPlus and its partners. 

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