John Mary K Karugaba is a retired assistant forest officer in Uganda whose wife’s potato seed production project employed him after his retirement. Robert Muhereza of the Daily Monitor tells this story of Karugaba, a resident of Karukara Village who served as an assistant forest officer in Mafuga plantation forest in Kigezi Sub-region from 1975 until he retired in 2006.
“My wife started Irish potato seed production in 2002. She gained expertise and her business was booming. When I retired, I joined her because the project pays better than salary,” Karugaba says.
“I prepared for my retirement by encouraging my wife Fidelis Karugaba to actively participate in workshops and trainings that provided her knowledge in clean Irish potato production. When I retired she trained me in that field and in less than four months I was an expert. We encouraged all our children to love potato seed production and by the time each of them completed their university education they had joined the project,” he says.
“We have formed Kigezi Farmers’ Resource Centre Company, a family seed production company so that we can easily trade with government institutions and other NGOs that require clean seed potato seedlings.”
Now the family company has about 30 acres of land on which they practice modern farming methods in clean Irish potato seed production. The 70-year-old says the family project employs about 30 people per season in both planting and harvest and also about 15 permanent workers that provide labour in weeding and spraying.
Source: Daily Monitor. Read the full story here
Photo: Karugaba sprays his crop garden. Inset – the couple displays their output | Robert Muhereza