Seedling Houses to Reduce Seedling Loss
By Alex Odoma, a key farmer for the Nutrition and Income Generation Intervention project.
WEST NILE REGION, UGANDA — My name is Alex Odoma. I am 28 years old and the father of four children. I grew up with my mother, since my father divorced her when I was 7 years old. I have not gone far with education. I stopped studying in primary 7 because I had no way to pay my school fees, as I was dependent on my impoverished mother. The only means of livelihood was farming.
Though I love farming, my farming life was a disappointment. I was using my own experience, and it did not yield any positive results. I always encountered several losses during seedling production, especially with black ants carrying away my sown seeds and also with heavy rains destroying my seedlings in the ground nursery.
This demoralised me, and I gave up vegetable production for one year. However, in 2020, I was selected to become a key farmer by East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation (EWS-KT) as part of the Nutrition and Income Generation Intervention project. Through this project, I got trained in vegetable farming.
Following EWS-KT’s techniques, I moved my seedling production to an improved nursery, using leaf pots and seedling houses. Since then, I have never had any loss associated with seedling production, and never again will that happen—seedling loss is now past history. l also now understand that every seed counts.
“What EWS-KT has given to me, I am now giving to others.”
What EWS-KT has given to me, I am now giving to others. The seedling house is literally my seedling factory, and whenever my friends and neighbours visit me, they get interested in this simple technology. After learning a lot from me concerning seedling production, most of the community members within my neighbourhood are now using seedling houses for raising their seedlings.
The quality of the seedlings speaks for itself. A friend once said that with such quality seedlings, you never doubt the harvest. I am very thankful to EWS-KT for reviving my career. Indeed, you are a good friend.
Nutrition and Income Generation Intervention (NIGI) improves access to and consumption of nutritious crops and increases income for refugees and hosts in refugee settlement areas in the West Nile Region of Uganda. This project is co-funded by Netherlands Embassy Uganda and is implemented by EWS-KT in collaboration with Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation.