Robert Sebatindira is a 40 year old farmer and member of Tusubira Bingi Farmers Group in Lukunyu Village in Buikwe District. He produces and markets different commodities for profit, such as maize, coffee, bananas, tomatoes, beans and mangoes.
He says, before joining the group he used to grow maize for consumption at home and only sold the little surplus remaining. But after receiving training about Marketing, Participatory M&E, Market Intelligence and Sustainable Agriculture Practices he has been able to develop his maize enterprise into a business.
In 2016, Robert was able to harvest and sell 3,000 kg of maize from one season, which he sold to local traders for 800 UGX per kg, and 7000 kg from one season in 2017 for 1000 UGX per kg. The second season’s harvest in 2017, Robert had an estimated harvest of 10,000 kg from the 10 acres he has planted and plans to further bulk his maize in the future to maximize profits.
He bought 10 more acres from the sale of maize in 2017 which has enabled him to expand his area of production, ensure his children’s education, payment of casual laborers and also assisting some youth in the village to realize their objectives, especially housing, improved agronomic practices, business and farm planning. He has been able to achieve all that because he diversified his enterprises and is now producing and selling coffee, mango, banana and animal products.
Despite the above achievements, Robert has also been faced with different challenges such as crop pests and diseases, unpredictable weather changes, price fluctuations especially for maize, and low productivity of his soils. However, to overcome these challenges, the group plans to acquire a maize mill, as the next mill is 10km away, and also a soil testing kit in order to achieve higher yields.