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August 16th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

From B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru:

Butternut squash is a vine crop of the cucurbit family. This tropical crop is an alternative choice four pumpkin lovers.

This is because the butternut squash fruits locally known as ‘ensusuuti’ not only looks like a tiny pumpkin but it tastes alike.

Locally we do not have a specific name for the cucurbit as it is kind of an exotic plant.

It is rich in beta-carotene containing Vitamin B2, C and A thereby improving the body immunity and cancer patients are advised to consume it.

As such, stakeholders engaged in the agricultural value chain are advising Ugandan farmers to grow butternut alongside pumpkins because it produces a lot of the nuts.

Seed companies in Uganda have taken on multiplying the seed of butternut and the message at the Jinja Agriculture show to farmers was to embrace growing the plant as income earning initiative. The marketing and product developer at Starke Ayres, a seed company based in Nairobi Kenya, William Kimeto in an interview gives details of the agronomy practices farmers must embrace when growing butternut. Below are the excerpts.

He particularly points out that it is important for farmers to venture into growing a number of vegetable varieties and root vegetables which are rich in Iron and Vitamin A to curb Vitamin deficiency in human health.

Other plants of interest are spice plants namely Red Basil, pak choi and coriander, among others. Read more