Kamu Kalanzi is a vegetable farmer in Zirobwe, Luwero district. He has been growing green pepper for over six years. From the time he started growing vegetables, Kalanzi has always raised his own seedlings, which he grows in a nursery bed before transplanting them to the garden. For the first two years, however, the yields were not impressive despite Kalanzi’s efforts. His vegetables often suffered attacks from pests and diseases. He almost gave up on farming as a result.However, 2016 marked a turning point for Kalanzi and other farmers who were trained by Volunteers Effort for Development Concern(VEDCO) on the use of healthy seedlings.
VEDCO is implementing the Health Seedlings for Safe and more Productive Vegetables inEast Africa project in Luwero,
Mukono and Mityana districts.The project was funded by Austrian Development Agency (ADA). “We were trained on how to raise healthy seedlings which are free of pests and diseases and since then, we have been able to see our productivity increase,” Kalanzi says. Through the healthy seedlings project, farmers were provided with screen houses where seedlings are raised before being transplanted.