By Saidi Engola
Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in partnerships with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and North East Chili Producers Association are trooping to Greater North comprising of Oyam, Kiryandongo and Nwoya districts neighboring Murchison Falls National Park to tap emerging opportunities by supporting Chili growing.
The Entrepreneurship officer attached to Africa Wildlife Foundation, Marion Nankya Wasajja says that they are engaging farmers in the Greater North through training farmers to grow in Greater North to grow Africa Birds Eye chili to prohibit Elephants in Murchison Falls Conservation Area from straying to neighboring areas like it is being done in Kidepo valley Nation Park.
Wasajja was addressing members of chili business forum on Thursday at Alengo village, Mutunda sub county Kiryandongo district during their training on chili growing business, an activity that brought together various players from government and private sector. She said they were targeting business opportunities in renewable energy, aquaculture as well as trade and investment with a focus on areas in Greater North mostly people affected by the straying elephants.
“Africa Wildlife Foundation has already set up operations in different sectors through partnerships and joint venture in the three districts of Kiryandongo, Oyam and Nwoya because farmers have an internationally oriented economy. So, we have to pay close attention when markets are shifting as new opportunities open up,” she said.
Wasajja stated that: “Uganda has implemented extensive social-economic and political reforms and is today ranked among the best investment destinations not only in Africa but also in the world. Africa Birds Eye Chili is mainly produced in Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria Zambia and then of recently in Uganda,” she said.
Executive director North East chili Producer Association, Acham Helen Ketty Elungat advised farmers to start growing chili because right now a kilogram is at shs7, 500 explaining that a lot of products are made of chili like curry powder ingredients, pharmacology, and organic chemicals for pest control, tear gas and repelling straying Elephant.
Professor George Okeny, a farmer at Kal B Parish, Koch-Goma Sub County in Nwoya district testified to have earned shs500, 000 after harvesting 71.4Kilograms while Margret Laker Munu, a farmer in Alengo village, Mutunda Sub County in Kiryandongo district said that, under their umbrella organization, Olokolum Women Group, 187 kilograms were harvested and shs1, 402,500 was earned.