Smallholder farmers with vast land in Amuru District have ventured
into cashew nuts growing in a bid to diversify crop production and income.
The enterprise follows the outcome of a meeting in which three farmers
from the District met President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2018 and proposed to
him an idea of commercial cashew nuts growing. The President then endorsed a bench marking study tour for the farmers to Tanzania, where large scale cashew
nuts production is practiced.
From 2020, the Operation Wealth Creation - OWC office in the district has been
cumulatively supplying at least 10 farmers with the seedlings to support the
pilot roll-out of the project aimed at diversification of crops for income.
Stephen Michael Inyang, a farmer in Kidimon village, Amuru Sub-County says he
received 16,000 cashew seedlings to be planted on 20-acres of land. Inyang
states he has been reading extensively literature materials regarding cashew
The perennial tree starts bearing after three years of
planting and usually each tree can reach full bearing capacity during the tenth
year while giving remunerative yields for another 20 years.
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Inyang, who doubles as the Chairperson of Ojigo Farmers’ Cooperative Society
says he intends to set up a demonstration farm from which he will introduce
more farmers to the venture to expand cashew nuts growing to target the exports
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Col. Benson Olanya, the District OWC Coordinator says that Raymond
Okidi, Omee Farm and Kera Farm among others are the latest recipients of the
cashew seedlings supplied through the National Agriculture Advisory Services – NAADS.
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In 2017 President Museveni directed the Ministry of Agriculture
Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to integrate Cashew nut among the
priority Commodities and Development of Cashew nut Value Chain for improving
livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Uganda.
The government through NAADS allocated Shillings One Billion Shillings
for procurement of improved cashew nut seedlings. A total of 166,965 improved
cashew nut seedlings were procured in 2019 and distributed to demonstration
farmers which were then planted in 2,000 acres of land in 28 districts.
Cashew is industrially used in the manufacture of varnishes,
industrial flooring tiles, water-proof papers, paints and gum among others. It
is equally a source of income for smallholder farmers through the provision of
employment opportunities and foreign exchange earnings for the government. It
also provides protein, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese nutrients.