The Kivuma Development Farmers Group is one of the groups YARD is working with and is located in Kivuma Village in Buikwe District. The group was established in 2013 and started working with YARD in 2016 to promote farming as a business in their community. Since joining YARD under the ERI project, the group has been trained in community visioning, marketing basics and market research, and thereafter selected sweet potatoes as an enterprise.
The group’s first harvest amounted to two bags of sweet potato from their group garden and earned the group 100,000 UGX. Sweet potato were then also grown in individual gardens and sold collectively. With this strategy the group was able to generate group 600,000 UGX worth of produce with the second, and 1,000,000 UGX from the third harvest. They have been able to expand their production and currently the group is able to harvest 100 bags of sweet potato every year which they sell each at 100,000 UGX.
One of the group members, Nakate Sylvia, says she has been able to renovate her house, construct a latrine, buy a heifer and contribute to her children’s school fees. This is very common among most group members as the sweet potato business has enabled them to increase their income and improve their household welfare, diversify other enterprises and start up new businesses.
However, despite the above achievements, the group is challenged by price fluctuations due to seasonal saturation of the market, so the group has decided to add value to their enterprise by processing the sweet potato into flour, crisps, chapatis, daddies, cakes and mandazi, and also establish a market stall in some of the nearby markets in Lugazi, Mukono and Jinja.