PlantVillage was recently commended by Amukura East Aggregation Centre for enhancing food security through inventing PlantVillage Nuru application that has enabled the farmers identify diseases affecting their cassava and coming up with measures to mitigate them.
“We have noted an improve in cassava production ever since PlantVillage introduced us to the use of technology to detect crop diseases using the Nuru application.” Said Ms. Hilda Obale, Treasurer Amukura Aggregation Centre. She also stated that the trainings offered to them have enhanced their knowledge in maintaining growth of healthy cassava seedlings.
Ms. Obale further stated that the aggregation center has achieved food security since farmers are able to get enough yields for their staple and business use. She asserted that the center has benefited farmers through trainings and knowledge transfer programs that have exposed them to various support organizations.
“We thank God for PlantVillage for funding and supporting us in managing quality production of cassava chips and beverage,” said Amukura Aggregation Center secretary Ms. Veronica Nafula. She also said that through trainings offered by the organization they were able to curb diseases and pest that affect cassava crops, which boosted their harvests.
Speaking during a courtesy visit at the center, Mr. Bismark Plimo Lead Busia, advised the farmers on healthy measures and ways of maintaining cleanliness. “In order to attract large markets you need to better the environment around the center, wear protective clothes while handling the cassava to avoid contamination and ensure proper labelling of batches,” he said. He further assured them that the organization will work with them to enhance their market locally and internationally.
Amukura East Aggregation Centre was established in August 2021 with the support of the European Union to promote the commercialization of cassava under the project, strengthening the competitiveness of cassava value chain. The center has about 585 members who major in cassava plantation in the area to produce cassava chips, beverage and flour.
Members of Amukura Aggregation mainly major in farming cassava variety KME 1 where they gather their yields once harvested or buy from other farmers to enable production of cassava chips. The production process involves peeling of cassava, washing and storing the cassava in water tanks to maintain freshness, cutting the cassava into chips, drying and storing for suppliying.
Establishing of the center in the area has greatly impacted the society through creating employment for people in the area and exposed farmers to trainings that have boosted their knowledge in maintaining healthy cassava seedlings to improve their production. Aside from aggregating cassava, the center has plans of aggregating beans and Millet (wimbi).
The center is supported by various organizations including, PlantVillage, Self Help Africa and recently Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).
By Emmy Neema