Francis Mwalungo Charo is a farmer from Ujam village in Adungosi in Busia County practicing sugarcane farming on his 2 acres piece of land. With the help of his family of three, he also plant other crops such as pawpaw, okra, eggplant, soya beans, cassava, arrowroots and maize both for subsistence and commercial use.
As an experienced farmer of sugarcane, this is what he does;
Francis mainly uses Nigeria C0945 variety of cuttings. This variety has yields up to 5 times more than the normal variety.
Francis prepares the soil into a fine tilth. He makes planting furrows at a depth of 25cm.
Francis plants sugarcane cuttings at a spacing of 1m by 1.2m and 0.5m and adds organic manure in the soil just before planting to help with development of roots.
His 2 acres of land lays on a plateau which retains more water that nourishes the sugarcane.
Francis uses selective herbicides to weed his land and he sometimes does mechanical weeding. He advices farmers to practice weeding on their sugarcane more often to increase yields and to reduce competition for nutrients.
Harvesting is done between 8-10 months using a sharp panga. His field yield approximately 35 tonnes per acre.
Since Francis is among the few sugarcane farmers in the area, he has a ready market in Busia Sugar Company in Busibwabo.
Written By;Marion Makunyo