Nwoya Farmers Mint Cash from Cassava Boom

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In short
The increase in Cassava production in Nwoya, according to Ochaya is not accidental. He says this is part of the fruits of the Cassava ordinance passed by Nwoya district Local government in 2013.

Samuel Ochaya, a farmer in Nwoya lost almost his entire maize garden when the destructive Fall armyworm (FAW) hit the district and most parts of the country.



 
Ochaya and other farmers in Nwoya District in Northern resorted to planting cassava. Currently, they earn up to six million Shillings for each acre of cassava. 


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Their efforts are paying off with many minting money from a crop, which at one moment was imposed on them by the Nwoya District Local Government.  Ochaya is currently unemployed but says the cassava crop may be his employer for some time because of the cassava boom in Nwoya and neighboring district.

 
The most popular cassava variety in Nwoya was introduced by the Catholic Relief, Development and Social Service Organization-CARITAS that has been operating in Northern Uganda. 


Ochaya says the quick maturing cassava variety bred by Cassava breeders at National crop Resources Institute has been renamed CARITAS by locals because it has been key in fighting hunger at households.


The increase in Cassava production in Nwoya, according to Ochaya is not accidental. He says this is part of the fruits of the Cassava ordinance passed by Nwoya district Local government in 2013. 




It required every household to cultivate at least an acre of cassava plantation in order to improve the worsening food security situation. Ochaya says CARITAS took advantage to distribute free quick maturing "CARIT" cassava whose yield many farmers have found a fortune. 
 
Atibu Loese has been a Field Coordinator on a Climate Research project funded by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). He says the market was boosted further following the outbreak of Cassava brown streak disease in in the districts in Lango. 


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The future of Cassava production in Nwoya is even much brighter with the growing demand from South Sudan. 



He says a new biofuel/starch processing plant has just been established in Nwoya, which plans to buy cassava from farmers and process it into biofuels and starch.