Jacob Bubolo, aged 49 years, lives in Pakele Town Council, Adjumani. He managed a produce shop at Pakele Town Council before the recent COVID-19 pandemic, but the business was forced to close down during the lockdown. He decided to start growing tomatoes, starting with Red Creole and the Rio Grande varieties. When he found out about Omia Agribusiness through the local FM radio station, he visited Omia Agribusiness Development Group to seek advice on how to improve the yield from his farm.
The Omia agribusiness development group was able to provide services to Jacob, having received a grant of USD 30,000 from the USADF. The grant was used to stock farm inputs, purchase motorcycles and hire staff. Omia receives assistance with business development and capacity building from the implementing partner, Uganda Development Trust.
The Omia extension worker advised him to adopt improved hybrid tomato cultivars like Nouvelle F1. Jacob successfully planted 400 seedlings, and our extension officer, Ms. Ayikoru Jackeline, later helped him manage them more effectively in the field. At harvest, he was able to make 2.5 million Ugandan Shillings from the 400 tomato plants.
With this sum, he increased his production to 1.5 acres by planting Ansal F1, Kaveri F1 sweet peppers, and Gloria F1 cabbages. He also used the remaining 500,000 shillings to purchase new equipment. He has also been able to hire two people on a full-time basis.
He then used five hundred thousand to clear the balance of a loan he had borrowed to finish his house; invested one million to revitalize his produce shop; and gave his wife five hundred thousand to start a business in the Pakele Market.