‘Seeds of Uncertainty’ in Ugandan Media

Oct 29th, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Stories

Gerald Businge was a Gates Africa Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (2009-2010), where he was part of the Africa Reporting project.  He is a multimedia journalist, trainer and researcher based in Uganda and is the Managing Director of Ultimate Media Consult (u) Ltd, a multimedia Journalism  communications and training agency. He also teaches Media Production techniques at Makerere University Department of Journalism and Communication. Businge key interest is furthering the use of new media tools in Journalism and Communications, especially in ways that promote entrepreneurship and value addition. Businge has established several new media ventures including www.weinformers.net, where the story Uganda Farmers Contend with Seeds of Uncertainty was originally posted.

Uganda Farmers Contend with Seeds of Uncertainty

James Kisembo, a farmer in Kabarole, western Uganda, decided to prepare two acres for growing beans, three times the size of what he grew in 2009. Kisembo was inspired by the good harvest his neighbour got the previous season. He went hunting for the better seed varieties from a seed shop in Fort Portal town.

“I bought seeds like the ones my neighbour had planted the previous season,” Kisembo says. “After the rains started, I planted. To my surprise, after two weeks, the seeds had not germinated.”  Normally bean seeds take 4-6 days to germinate.

On talking about his predicament with fellow farmers in the area, Kisembo was surprised when four farmers in a neighbouring village said that they have ever bought and planted seed varieties supposed to be of better quality that either didn’t germinate, withered at a tender age, or failed to fruit.

As farmers in Uganda increasingly turn to improved seed varieties, (not depending on saved seed from the previous season), concern is rising over the genuineness of seeds sold on the Uganda market. Many farmers are being affected by the increasing supply of fake seeds or seeds that are not the type the seed seller says it is.

[For the rest of the article please visit WeInformers here]

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