Church missionary takes up farming

Although Christopher Bwami came to the Acholi region in 2011 to preach the gospel, under Kampala Baptist Church, he has incorporated his mission with mixed farming that he is currently doing in Paicho sub county, Gulu District.

He is rearing chicken, a business he says has given already given him dividends. “I started in 2012 with 1,000 broilers that I bought at Shs 1,800 each and 700 layers that I bought at Shs2,800 each,” he says. “I sell the broilers every month and also buy 1,000 broilers on the monthly basis.”

The prices for the chicken ranges from Shs15,000 to Shs20,000 each. Also, each tray of yellow-yolk eggs is at Shs10,000 and other eggs are at Shs8,000 a tray. On a daily basis, Bwami gets over 20 trays and sells them to hotels within Gulu and to individual customers who buy from his shop.

The initial 700 layers he started with were sold after they stopped laying eggs. Then, he bought 1,000 layers to replace them at the farm. “To be successful in keeping chicken, you have to be passionate about them,” Bwami aises.

Before keeping chicken, he started by growing maize, beans, ground nuts that he planted on 10 acres of land that he had bought. But Bwami says that engaging in farming has not affected his church work, he still preaches the gospel since it is the main reason he came to the Acholi region.

From the first harvest of maize, in 2013, Bwami earned Shs24m out of sales of the two seasons in a year. “I have been able to buy a pickup truck to ease farming activities,” he says.

“Sustaining a farm is demanding in terms of finances, there is a lot of risks involved, especially weather in the north,” Bwami comments on the biggest challenges he faces in the business.

Another challenge is that, during dry season, people release their animals to graze freely and they destroy his crops. The other is the fluctuation in prices of agricultural produce. “It is discouraging because one invest a lot of resources but get little in return or even make losses,” he notes.

Future plans
He plans grow other crops on the same land since it has fertile soils. “I will also buy more land as my plans are to be one of the modern farmers in the region,” he anticipates.

-Text and photo by Josline Adiru

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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