On a small piece of land measuring 100 feet by 120 feet, it is possible to carry out successful commercial farming and to make enough money to invest in other income generating activities.
On just that amount of land, located in Kimaanya B in Masaka City, Mr Alex Ssemugooma, 39, a medical radiographer at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, keeps pigs, poultry, and he also has a clonal Robusta coffee nursery.
After some years of farming on that plot of land, he has over the years made some money and gone ahead to become the proprietor of Choice Grill Restaurant at Muto Complex, on Masaka-Nyendo Road and the owner of some 40 acres of land at Mweruka Village, Kyesiiga Sub-county, Masaka District where he plans to grow Eucalyptus trees.
“It is a question of determination and commitment,” he tells Seeds of Gold. “It is also important that one accepts that farming is not a white collar job. Nearly every day, I have to do some physical work on my farm, although I have some labourers to help me with the rest of the work. ”
Boss sowed the seed
His interest in farming was sparked by Dr Florence Tugumisirize, about 10 years ago when she was the medical director at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital. “She was our boss and she passed by my plot of land everyday on her way to the hospital and back to her residence.
She told me it was possible for me to supplement my monthly salary by doing some farming right here and she suggested I could start with rearing pigs. She encouraged me to visit her farm in Mukono where she taught me how to look after pigs and also sold me 10 piglets,” says Mr Ssemugooma.
A. S. Piggery Farm Masaka is the name of his project. He is also grateful to Centenary Bank which granted him a salary loan which he used to build a modern pigsty, similar to those he had seen at Dr Tugumisirize’s farm.
Construct to avoid nuisance
Any farmer keeping pigs in an urban setting where homesteads are close to one another, must ensure that the pigs don’t spread a bad smell or make noise to avoid inconveniencing the neighbours.
In order to observe this principle, Mr Ssemugooma said Dr Tugumisirize taught him to adopt the IMO (Indigenous Micro Organisms) method of pig keeping. “The pigsty has to be constructed very carefully.