UK potato supplier Branston donates £10k to support potato production among local farmers in Uganda

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The local farmers drawn from the community around Alito, an agricultural college in Uganda are set to benefit £10k donation by Branston Ltd, a UK potato supplier to support production of Irish Potato and boost food security and income among the local people.

Alito has been building the capacity of the local farmers by teaching farming skills so that they are able to grow the crop by themselves.

In this, students are allowed to witness the growth of the first crop, they are then given 5kg of potato seeds, a new variety not yet cultivated in the area, to take home after their graduation in summer.

Besides the funding which part of a new joint venture, Branston will also support Alito by digging 2,000 cubic metre water lagoons for irrigation as well as carrying out trials on a test site that could be used as a teaching plot for students to learn about fertiliser usage, new potato varieties and planting techniques.

According to Ian Anorld, Branston Interim Project Manager, there are over 100 students and staff members at the college who have participated in the project.

This is a great project and a fantastic opportunity to for us to give back to the local community at Alito and improve food security and income,” said Anorld when he visited the college to oversee the land preparation and planting.

Most of the potatoes planted were Rwangume, a variety developed specifically to be cultivated in Africa. However, the Branston team is also exploring some other varieties from Europe, Arizona and Markies to find out how they can perform in Ugandan climate where the average daytime temperatures are between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius.

The college has been training under 25s and their creativity, according to Anorld, has been brilliant but the broject is also focusing on upskilling women in particular and give more priority to those with children.

“We have committed to provide three-years of training with Alito as we are eager to continue supporting and educating the local community over the coming years,” said Anorld.

He added that more of Branston team will be visiting Uganda and specifically the college to offer more support.