Ssentongo has mastered the artwork of minimising bills
John Ssentongo of Lukindu Village close to Kiwangala Buying and selling Centre, in Lwengo District is a person with many fascinating farming concepts.
He sees no purpose, for instance, why anyone with some area wherein to apply agriculture needs to be a frequent goer to the native meals market to purchase meals.
“You’ll not often see me available in the market, besides maybe a few times in a yr when some members of my family need to eat beef,” he says.
Motivated by combined farming
His function, as a farmer dwelling not removed from a rising small rural city, is to promote some organically grown greens, fruits, tubers, sugar cane, rabbits, native rooster, and another foodstuffs to meals venders within the buying and selling centre and the native market.
“Really my actual purpose shouldn’t be a lot to extend my revenue however relatively to minimise expenditure,” he says.
“If I can produce on my farm what cash should purchase then why do I fear concerning the cash? Actually I do promote a few of my farm merchandise but in addition donates some objects to these in want. Simply this morning I ended some youngsters who had been getting back from church and I picked some avocados and gave them to take house,” says Ssentongo.
His farm additionally passes as a mannequin pure surroundings conservation homestead, properly planted with fruit timber, meals crops, and medicinal vegetation.
Beneath the slogan, “Go Inexperienced” he leads fellow residents in fruit tree planting, natural farming practices and soil conservation, pure fertiliser making, and rising crops in small gardens as vast as a sq. foot.
He condemns the senseless utilization of plastic baggage and bottles which he says take centuries to decompose and are accountable for breeding of mosquitoes, spreading of water borne ailments and soil depletion, amongst different evils.
He additionally makes use of greens, medicinal vegetation, and a few fruit shrubs as compound ornamentals.
His compound is beautified by traces of various colored cabbages and different greens rising in soil contained in used polythene baggage. Riva cabbages that are purple are grown in traces alongside Gloria cabbages that are inexperienced.
“I accumulate used polythene baggage after which I fill them up with soil earlier than planting the greens,” he says.
In addition to cabbages he grows onions, nakati, jjobyo, cherry tomatoes and different native greens. He additionally grows some native medicinal herbs one in every of which he claims is sort of efficient in stopping tooth decay.
How he makes his manure
He doesn’t consider in shopping for fertilisers and pesticides from outlets. “Farmers should keep away from such bills,” he says. “It’s potential to make all these proper at house.” Since he retains some goats, rabbits, and poultry he makes use of their urine and droppings to make liquid manure. He places livestock droppings in a sack which he soaks and retains in a drum of water for a couple of week.
He additionally squeezes up some plant leaves and places them in the identical drum of water the place it additionally stays for a couple of week.
Each day he finds time to fire up the combination. For him that is the manure that retains his crops so properly nourished.
He additionally prepares his personal pesticides out of scorching pepper, ash, and a few insect repellant vegetation comparable to tobacco combined in water and stored for at the very least every week. That is the concoction that he makes use of to maintain pests away from his farm.
“Aside from being a supply of pure manure the native rooster and the geese present us with eggs for our consumption however we promote the surplus eggs as properly. We additionally sometimes eat rooster or rabbit meat and since I seldom go to the marketplace for beef, we once in a while slaughter a goat to get pleasure from some pink meat,” says Ssentongo.
Edward Mukiibi vice-president of Gradual Meals –a worldwide organisation which works to make sure that all folks get entry to good, clear and honest meals – describes Ssentongo’s farm as very distinctive.
“In June 2012 he hosted delegates from some 28 Gradual Meals member international locations and we had fairly fascinating discoveries there. At his farm the delegates had been capable of finding conventional mushrooms, white ants, crickets and different native delicacies that can not be simply obtained elsewhere and all this is because of the truth that he doesn’t use agro-chemicals,” says Mukiibi.
Mukiibi additionally agrees with Ssentongo’s philosophy of minimising expenditure on meals and guaranteeing that members of the households are ate up a nutritious food plan.
“Some farmers develop crops comparable to pineapples or tomatoes and get some huge cash however later spend all of it on shopping for foodstuffs comparable to maize flour, rice, and cooking oil,” he says.
“Additionally they spend some huge cash going to hospitals attributable to below vitamin associated diseases. The best choice can be to feed their households on the suitable food plan.”
Ssentongo’s farm is planted with plenty of fruit timber comparable to mangoes, avocado, pawpaw, sugar cane, and jack fruit, which give it a cool ambiance more often than not and supply robust safety towards the new tropical solar.
Now aged 75, Ssentongo who holds a diploma in accounting used to work as an accountant with the Ministry of Works within the 70s earlier than he resigned greater than 30 years in the past to turn into a farmer.
His house can also be a vacationer centre and he has constructed some lodges for individuals who need to loosen up in a quiet inexperienced surroundings.
“Lately we hosted some three younger girls from Germany who spent a month with us however they by no means had any purpose to go wherever else to purchase meals as a result of we had all of the fruits, the greens, the potatoes, the eggs and the meat for them proper right here,” he narrated.
“They advised me and my grandchildren to count on to reside lengthy lives as a result of we reside nearer to nature by being surrounded with timber and consuming organically grown meals,” Ssentongo says.
He saves most of his seeds from the crops that he harvests.
“Properly, there is no such thing as a means that I can save seed for such crops as cabbages however as a lot as potential I attempt to save seeds of greens comparable to nakati, bbugga, and different native greens. One different purpose why I choose rising native Buganda greens is that they aren’t so liable to pest assault. Take, for instance, our native tomatoes that are not often attacked by late blight and different ailments. They’re more healthy to eat than these unique, giant, tomatoes which should be sprayed with pesticides and are generally displayed in meals markets in all places, ” he shares.
His message to fellow farmers is that they need to ensure there’s enough nutritive meals of their houses first earlier than they fear a lot about what to promote.
And reality to inform under-nutrition at all times comes with frequent diseases and stunting of youngsters’s development which find yourself as heavy well being burden to the farmer who will probably be pressured to waste extra money and time taking youngsters to hospitals.
“It’s not a matter of how a lot cash one will get out promoting meals however relatively how a lot cash one avoids spending on meals consumed in a single’s homestead,” he says.
He doesn’t consider in shopping for fertilisers and pesticides from outlets. “Farmers should keep away from such bills,” he says. “It’s potential to make all these proper at house.” Since he retains some goats, rabbits, and poultry he makes use of their urine and droppings to make liquid manure. He places livestock droppings in a sack which he soaks in a drum of water for a couple of week.