The following article appeared in "New Vision," one of Uganda's primary news agencies:
By Hope Mafaranga:
FARMERS in Kyarusozi sub-county in Kyenjojo district will start earning more money from their produce after they got solar driers to add value to their products.
The farmers, under the Kyembogo Farmers Association (KYEFA), will start drying pineapples, vegetables and bananas to improve the crops’ market value and shelf life.
Matthias Mwesige, the KYEYA project manager, said farmers were engaged in pineapple, mango, maize, banana and vegetable farming.
“This is a great opportunity for us because we have been selling our pineapples between sh500 to sh1,000, but after drying them we will be earning sh5,000 from the local supermarkets and sh10,000 from the exports,” Mary Tinka, one of the pioneer farmers, said at the launch of the solar driers on Friday.
The driers were donated by World Education Bantwana Initiative, a non-governmental organisation operating in Kyenjojo.
Mwesige said the association and Bantwana had already secured market for the produce and plans were underway to start exporting dried pineapples and bananas.
He said the NGO had also supplied seeds and pineapple suckers to the farmers, adding that the farmers had also been trained in modern farming.
Mwesige said the development would help rural farmers attain socio-economic growth; improve their income and food security.
The group started with 30 members in 1998, but it has grown to 2,000 members.
Photo: Mwesige (left) showing guests the solar-dried pineapple chips at the launch
You can also read the article online at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/detail.php?mainNewsCategoryId=8&newsCategoryId=220&newsId=743386
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