Other than harvesting some sweet potatoes for themselves, the Maluwu Farmer Field School had another motivation for wanting to grow the improved orange-fleshed sweet potato. They farm pigs.
Together the group of 15 grow and harvest the sweet potatoes to sell and raise capital to purchase feed for their pigs.
24-year-old Makaiko explained, “We can sell a 50kg sack of our sweet potatoes for 8,000MK and then buy maize bran from the maize mills to feed the pigs. The maize bran costs around 1,000MK a sack. We then sell the pigs between 30,000MK and 90,000MK depending on their size. Piglets sell for 9,000MK. We feed the pigs banana bark and edible weeds too.”
The community group, whose ages range from early 20s to late 70s, also cook the sweet potato leaves for relish.
Since harvesting, they are busy preparing their land in the dambo (wetland area) to transfer the sweet potato vines for the next season.
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