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"No more worries about food"

23 May 2013

Livingston’s wife Joyce cooking beans from their crop

Photo: Livingston’s wife Joyce cooking beans from their crop.

Farmers in Uganda are being helped to feed their families, and turn a profit, by a new variety of bean seed.

One such farmer is Sixty-year-old Livingston who planted the crop using good-quality seeds that he and his farmers group grew on their group plot last year.

These seeds, unlike traditional varieties, produce high-yielding plants that are also resistant to common pests, while also being very tasty. Livingston produced such a big harvest that after using some for the family’s food and being able to sell some, he had enough left over to plant two acres this season.

He hopes to harvest around 1,500lb of beans from each acre, the money from which will help pay his grandchildren’s school costs – and he also plans to buy “a present for the wife”.

Thanks to the new seeds, “My family’s wellbeing has improved. There are no more worries about food. We can earn money, and eat supper and lunch” said Livingston.

Profitable farming

Livingston and his wifeBeans are the most profitable of all the crops Livingston grows. A 220lb sack can sell  for 200,000 Ugandan shillings – four times more than he’d get for that amount of corn, the family’s main crop.

As demand for these seeds is very high, he also sells some of his harvest for other farmers to use, ensuring that local farmers have an affordable supply of high-quality seeds for the future.

Crop rotation

The beans, unlike corn, take just 60 days to mature, so can be planted up to five times a year.

“Farm Africa helped us with crop rotation – beans do well and maintain soil fertility so it is easier to grow things. We used to grow mixed varieties and the beans didn’t grow well. Now after the training we know the varieties that are suitable for our area” says Livingston.

Farm Africa is working with 18,000 smallholder farmers in central Uganda. By training them in up-to-date farming techniques and providing high-quality bean and peanut seeds, we’re helping them boost their harvests – and end hunger.

Read more about our bean and peanuts farming

More about our work in Uganda