Sharon Nansamba and Fred Luyombi are a couple both aged 27 and members of Nkonge Youth Development Group in Nkonga village, Katikamu subcounty, Luweero district. The group comprises 28 members (24 males, 4 females) and was formed in March 2018.  During mobilization, the Community Facilitator introduced the couple to the East African Youth Inclusion Program (EAYIP) which they resonated with since they were only involved in subsistence farming and needed skills on how to adopt commercial farming.

The couple joined the group and participated in all trainings such as foundational skills where they learnt about Cornerstones & Education For Life (EFL), a Youth Alive signature program which among other topics talks about visioning, a session which Fred and Sharon developed a special liking for. They developed their vision together and put it up in their house, so they can work towards achieving it.

‘Our dream has always been farming since we know that’s where the money is. Whenever we look at our vision we tick off what we have accomplished as we plan to achieve more’ notes Sharon

Fred in the piggery

The group was later equipped with skills on tomato farming by model farmers and that revived the couple’s desire for tomato farming. They were mentored on planting seedlings, transplanting, spraying, mulching among others after which the couple decided to grow tomatoes. The couple needed a startup capital of 400,000ugx for tomato growing, however, following the training in Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA), they had saved up 250,000ugx but needed an additional 150,000ugx. They, therefore, borrowed 150,000ugx from the group VSLA to top up their capital and set up a tomato garden. In April 2019 they harvested, sold and earned a profit of 950,000ugx. This season the couple expects to make atleast1,500,000ugx from their garden which occupies two and a half acres of land.

In addition to the tomatoes, they have four hybrid pigs and their vision is to own three acres of tomatoes and rear 25 pigs in the next three years.

The couple harvesting tomatoes

“Working together has not only helped us to grow financially but also provide for our family; all our children are going to school.” The biggest challenge they face is access to market, poor quality seeds, expensive pesticides, and unfriendly weather conditions. Their appeal to the program is to provide them superior seedlings, pesticides, watering vessels, and routine veterinary checks.