When he was growing up, the only crop that Owilli Innocent’s family planted was sorghum. Therefore, when he decided to become a farmer, he ventured into sorghum growing.
However, a few years into the trade, he transitioned into cassava growing. The 25-year-old father of four says he came to this decision after being sensitized about the benefits of cassava. “I have been a farmer for quite some time but I lacked information about the cost benefits of cassava. However, when Share An Opportunity Uganda (SAO U) staff through their Special Programme Convene and Convince (SPCC) sensitized us about the benefits of cassava, I decided to transition from sorghum growing.”
He says that after the sensitization, he did a personal survey to confirm what they had been told. “I went to different markets and I noticed that one cup of sorghum costs Shs200 yet two pieces of cassava cost Shs1,000. In June this year, I decided to plant 2 acres of cassava.”
“I was also encouraged by the fact that SAO had connected our youth farmers’ group (Adok Pachlo Group) to a profitable cassava market in Lira. So I am sure that whatever I plant will be bought,” the farmer explains.
He therefore says that when he gets profits from this season’s harvest, he will plant more cassava. “My plan is that when I get profits, I will plant more cassava and use the balance to take my children to boarding schools in Kotido.”
Besides the sensitization, he attributes his change of attitude and success to SAO’s approach of empowerment than giving handouts. “Getting skills is better than getting handouts because I will never forget the skills I have got from SAO.”