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Prossy Nalusiba had never dreamt of owning land or a house. Nalusiba with her husband Sekyanzi Deogratius were first sand quarry miners, then casual laborers for conventional tillage. With their six children they lived in a one roomed grass thatched house with meager income.

They attended REDS training in CF hoe basin digging in early 2012 with the notion to provide the service to others since they did not own any land. At the start of the second season of 2012, they were contracted by 10 farmers with a total of 50 acres to till at a cost of US$32 per acre, and that is how the change in their lives began. With the money earned they bought a piece of land 100ft by 30ft at a cost of US$1,200.

By the first season of 2013, around 30 farmers had reached out to them, requesting for hoe tillage and planting services, they asked their sister and brother to join them to form a team of hoe tillage and planting services; they now offer their services to over 40 farmers with an aggregate of 200 acres.

Prossy Nalusiba beams with joy as she narrates how far they have come and how grateful they are for the CA technologies that have become a source of livelihood for labourers like them.

Livingstone Kajajata, a commercial farmer who owns a tractor started farming with a traditional plough and for a long time his maize yields peaked at 1.2 tons per acre. He got frustrated as he could not break even and hired out part of his 92 ha land to other farmers as it was not productive as he had hoped. When he learnt of CF mechanized min-tillage, he was skeptical. “At first I did not take the REDS staff serious because I had seen many organizations come, teach and go without making any significant impact for the smallholder farmer. I thought this was going to be the same story, however, I took time to listen and somehow got convinced about using a tractor ripper instead of a plough and decided to try out CF mechanized min till technology”.

With his first trial on 0.4Ha, he immediately noted fuel savings from an average ofUS$21 to US$13 per acre and the maize crop was of vigorous growth and yield, without any application of fertilizers apart from crop residue retention. With such results, he shared his CF experience with farmers in his neighborhood and started to provide them with tillage services. Livingstone went on to woo and train other TSPs in Mityana district and converted them from conventional ploughing to CF mechanized minimum tillage, supervising the usage of the Ndume tractor ripper and making sure they do the right thing. To date he has trained 10 tillage service providers all actively engaged in providing the service to smallholder farmers in the region. On an individual level, Livingstone has 7.7Ha of his own established under CF and is a bean seed multiplier for Pearl Seeds Company, a country-wide supplier of seeds.

Susan Ojok did not own an input shop but used to deliver agro inputs to different sub counties in Lira district on behalf of the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS). She did not have any knowledge about agro inputs and could not advise farmers.

Susan attended REDS training for agro input dealers in early 2012 hoping to provide the service to farmers. With the extensive knowledge gained on modern inputs, business management, market linkages with farmers and market information and access; Susan decided to work with the REDS field team in Northern Uganda to supply farmers genuine agro-inputs. She rented a shop and put a small stock of seed and herbicides. By the first season of 2013, she had established herself as a genuine input dealer and many farmers started buying from her shop.

By August 2014 her inputs stock was worth over US$10,000 and she hired 2 assistants, had them trained so as to advise farmers on the use and application of the different inputs.

Susan Ojok owes her achievement to REDS training and linkages to farmers for her business growth.

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Mukalazi Road, Bukoto, Kampala Uganda.
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