Successful cassava farmer and beneficiary of the Cassava Seed Systems Project (CSS), Mr. Akuttu Augustine recently won an award for “Best Cassava Seed Entrepreneur 2013-2017” under the Cassava Seed Systems Project. Mr. Akutu, a resident of Amuria district in Eastern Uganda was also awarded a certificate of inspection on fulfilling the quality and plant health standards for cassava planting materials. The certificate qualifies him to supply certified cassava stems for planting during the year 2017. He got the two credits in June 2017 this year.
Mr. Akuttu owns over 300 acres of cassava spread out in parts of Amuria, Soroti and Serere districts. Last year, in 2016, he made sales of 170 Million Uganda Shillings from 3500 bags of cuttings sold. This year, he supplied 1275 bags of stems and earned 60 Million Uganda Shillings. He has also been contracted by the Government’s National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) to supply cassava cuttings to neighboring districts including Abim.
His proceeds have been used to among other things, buy more land to expand acreage to grow more cassava, set up new constructions at home and a commercial building in Soroti town.
Also recognized with a similar certificate is Mr. Sam Opio, another successful Cassava Seed Entrepreneur and owner of Adyaka Farm in Apac district -Northern Uganda. Mr. Opio owns over 150 acres of cassava and is still expanding his acreage with aim to further boost his cassava business but also to ensure sustainable root supply for his cassava Flash drying factory of Adyaka Wholesalers Limited, also located in Apac district.
As a certified seed entrepreneur, Mr. Opio has been contracted to supply cuttings to the Government’s Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) this year, 2017. Also, in 2016, last year he supplied cuttings to OWC and earned 200 Million Uganda Shillings.
The Cassava Seed Systems Project (CSS) aims to catalyze the establishment of a functional cassava seed system to effectively regulate the production and dissemination of quality cassava planting materials in Uganda so as to improve food security and livelihoods of the small holder farmer through timely and cost effective access to disease free cassava planting materials.
The key implementers of the project are the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII), National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), CHAIN Uganda, BioCrops and the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).