Ntambaazi Receives Royal Recognition For Efforts

Wilson Ntambaazi of Mbiriizi Town in Lwengo District was selected as one of the top coffee farmers by the organizing committee responsible for Kabaka’s Emmwanyi Telimba Project in the district.

He is one of the few farmers who visited the Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga, last week. “We have a lot of successful coffee farmers in the district, but the Katikkiro cannot visit them all in one day,” said Lubega Bazoonona, coordinator of the Katikkiro’s visit. “So we only had to select a few and Ntambaazi is one of them.”

Ntambaazi, a bean and corn merchant, is also a prominent farmer of coffee, banana and eucalyptus trees, owning large tracts of land in several villages in Lwengo and Sembabule districts.

“I inherited my farming skills from my late father, Yokana Muwawu, who was also a farmer in Kasserutwe Village, Lwengo Sub-county where I was born,” said 53-year-old Ntambaazi. He said coffee wasn’t making much money at the time, although many farmers kept coffee gardens. When he married at the age of 19, his father allotted him a plot of land and he put a lot of energy into food production, mainly by growing bananas, beans and corn.

“I wanted to make sure I had enough food in the house so my wife and kids wouldn’t starve if I was gone for days,” he told Seeds of Gold. However, he would sell some of the food crops he produced, such as bananas, corn and beans. It was about this time that, with the money he earned from selling his crops, he started buying mature coffee from farmers in his village, drying it and selling it to other coffee merchants and making some profit. He eventually became a prominent bean and maize trader and moved to Mbiriizi Town as a young man.

Ntambaazi shows Katikiro Mayiga around his plantation.

“But even after becoming a trader, I realized it’s important to engage in an activity like farming that would keep me strong financially in case something went wrong with the trade,” says Ntambaazi. So he bought land and planted coffee, bananas and eucalyptus trees. Most of his coffee plantations are covered with bananas. He owns about seven hectares of land in Kinywamazzi, Ntete, Sembabule district, where he grows coffee.

He also owns seven hectares of coffee and bananas in Mayira in Mbiriizi Rural Sub-county, Lwengo District. He has a thriving coffee and banana plantation of approximately five hectares in Kabona near Misenyi in Ndagwe Sub-county, Lwengo District. He also owns 15 acres directly behind the Lwengo District Headquarters, where he hopes to plant coffee. “I have dug two water dams in the nearby valley for irrigation in case the rains fail, and preparations are in full swing,” he says.

Ntambaazi also owns 20 hectares of land in Kasserutwe, his hometown, where he grows coffee and eucalyptus trees. “It’s in Kasserutwe where I want to build my rural house, right where the Katikkiro planted a tree when he visited me early this week,” he revealed.

In addition, he has a plan to raise fish in the nearby swamp. He also wants to reduce the eucalyptus forest in order to be able to plant more coffee.

One of his successful tricks is irrigation. He has a water pump powered by a diesel engine that he uses to suck water into large plastic containers loaded onto his personal truck. The truck is then driven to all its plantations where irrigation is done with watering cans. In Kasserutwe, however, Ntambaazi plans to set up a large water tank in the middle of the coffee plantation into which he will pump water that will flow through pipes to the various galleys throughout the farm.

So far he harvests about 12 tons of FAQ (kase) coffee per year, but his goal is to harvest at least 20 tons. “At the moment a kilo of FAQ coffee costs Shs 7,200. If I harvest 20,000 kilos of FAQ coffee, I could earn close to Shs144m. It is the reason I tell you that I want to earn a minimum of Shs150m in the future from just coffee alone. I want to drive a big car like those of ministers,” he says. Ntambaazi currently drives a Premio car that he recently bought from Shs30m.

Ntambaazi uses irrigation during drought to sustain his coffee.

He has also bought land for his wife, Ruth Nakafeero, who he describes as very hardworking. She also grows coffee and maize on the land. So far, three of their eight children have completed their education at Makerere University. Others are pursuing a degree in nursing from the Rakai School of Nursing and the youngest are still attending primary school.

He was delighted to recently welcome the Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga. “We greatly appreciate your noble effort, Owekitiibwa Katikkiro, in calling on us to plant more coffee,” he told Mayiga. “Growing coffee has raised my family financially and I appeal to everyone gathered here today to grow coffee.” However, he suggested to the Katikkiro that the government of Kabaka should establish coffee plantations to ensure that farmers have good quality planting material.

The Katikkiro praised him for his dedication to coffee. “No high-paying job is easy to get,” he said. “And anyone who goes into coffee production has to prepare to work really hard. Imagine your colleague Ntambaazi using his truck to transport water to every coffee tree in all his different plantations during this long and severe drought. It takes a lot of determination and hard work. I would have urged you to go home now and plant coffee, but I just remembered that I still want you to come to my coffee campaign meeting in Mbiriizi Town this afternoon. But anyway, plant tomorrow. Make coffee and everything else will come naturally. Musimbe emwanyi, musilike,” Mayiga insisted.

Ntambaazi’s story is a clear demonstration that a lot of money can be made from agriculture; as coffee cultivation is just one of its many economic activities. He has income from other sources such as tree cultivation, maize cultivation, bean cultivation and banana cultivation.

One of his successful tricks is irrigation. He has a water pump powered by a diesel engine that he uses to suck water into large plastic containers loaded onto his personal truck. The truck is then driven to its plantations where irrigation is done with watering cans.

So far he harvests about 12 tons of FAQ (kase) coffee per year, but his goal is to harvest at least 20 tons.

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