In Monica Nantume, 28, a resident of Gombe Village, Kagerekamu Parish, Sekanyonyi Sub-county in Mityana District took a decision of shifting from coffee farming after realising that she was incurring losses.
Despite investing between Shs100,000 and Shs200,000 in buying pesticides and fertilisers, Nantume who solely worked in her half acre coffee plantation could not yield more than 100 kilogrammes per season.
“I was demoralised because I was getting little returns compared with the investment,” she said.
“The prices of fertilisers and pesticides which could literally do nothing for me were my major frustration I used to regret why I was even in farming, literally, coffee was a problem to me,” she added.
The problem of costly pesticides was not being faced by Nantume alone but literally the majority of the coffee farmers especially the youth whose source of income was literally none.
Francis Sserugo, a coffee farmer and also the chairperson of tukolele wamu Gombe group translated as (let us work together), says they make good money from sales.
About 15 youth coffee farmers who interacted with Seeds of Gold this week said pricey artificial fertilisers and pesticides was their major challenge.
This was until they learnt how to make organic fertilisers and pesticides in a robust training that was held by two NGOs dubbed Sawa World and Lavazza Foundation under the Ujana coffee project.
Close to 60 youth from this Sekanyonyi were among the 385 youth who benefited from the second phase of the Ujana project which was rolled out earlier last year.
After studying the major challenges the youth farmers were facing Sawa World and Lavazza Foundation offered numerous training including; making organic fertilisers and pesticides, books, shoes and spices among others.
Esther Makooma the Impact and Outreach manager of Sawa World more than 765 youth have been trained.
The project which is running between November 2019 and April 2025 aims at reaching 10,000 youths both directly and indirectly.
Sserugo said that their major interest as young coffee farmers was fertiliser and pesticides because it is where they were doing badly.
How it is done
Sserugo said the major ingredients used in making these organic pesticides and fertilisers are; human/rabbit urine, garlic, chili/ badhaiz/ pepper, egg shells, onions, ashes, charcoal husks, bean leaves, and wandering jaw.
“For rabbit urine we use it straight away but human urine we first keep it for a month to remove artificial chemicals remember we human beings are treated so much,” he said
To mix five litres of the pesticides, a farmer gets five litres of urine, adds in two cups of ash, two cups of charcoal husks, 10 bulbs of garlic and onion, two handfuls of cut wandering jaw, a half cup of egg shells, which are mixed together and kept for a week.
“After a week, we get our output and filter to get the pesticides and the residue will be used to spray sick plants and bananas,” he said.
A litre of the organic pesticides is mixed with a 20 litre jerrycan of water before spraying and for an acre one needs between 15 and 20 jerry cans.
“To make 20 litres of these pesticides, we spend between Shs10,000 and Shs20,000 and we spray thrice in a season,” he said.
Nantume who used to harvest 100 kilogrammes from her half acre garden, said she now gets between 250 and 350 kilogrammes of dried coffee.
Patrick Mulindwa another beneficiary from Magara Village in Magara Parish said his yields have risen from 15 in his four acreage to 25 bags.
Similarly, Sserugo who used to harvest 10 bags now gets 30 bags every season and projects that in future he is expecting to harvest after every three months.
In addition to making pesticides, the youth also learnt how to make books and shoes, a business they have successfully executed.
Makooma said that prior to offering these training, they discovered that the major challenges that were facing these youth were unpredictable weather, long wait for income generation, high cost of coffee pesticides and fertilsers.
Nantume who used to harvest 100 kilogrammes from her half acre garden, said that she now gets between 250 and 350 kilogrammes of dried coffee.
Patrick Mulindwa another beneficiary from Magara village in Magara Parish said his yields have risen from 15 in his four acreage to 25 bags.