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How Dr Musinguzi Planted the Largest Apple Farm in Uganda

While on his first trip to the United Kingdom, 20 years ago, Dr. Musinguzi was advised by his English counterpart that an apple a day keeps a doctor away. From there and then Dr. Musinguzi has been eating an apple everyday for good health and was this his source of inspiration to start an apple farm in Kanungu District.

A fully trained medical Doctor from Makerere university, Dr. Jotham Musinguzi worked for the National Population Council as the Director and the Regional Director for over 15 years.

His work was mainly advocacy in areas of family planning reproductive health and population. This advocacy role subsequently saw him work with different key partners in the development sector like Ministries of Finance and Health, United Nations Agencies such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP) and World Health Organization (WHO) for matters concerning population and health respectively.

After a very long period of time working with several organizations especially Non-government organizations at different levels, Dr. Musinguzi decided to retire from active employment at the age of 58 years of age.

After retirement, he withdrew UGX70M as his NSSF benefits and the procedure of withdrawing benefits did not take long like he had anticipated.

“Life after retirement was very tough and I decided to withdraw my NSSF benefits in order create a stable income that could sustain me and my family members and I now feel confident that I can face the future without any fear,” Dr Musinguzi said

Musinguzi had enough fertile land in his home area in Kanungu, so he used much of his benefits in purchasing apple seedlings, ploughing the land and digging holes for planting apples.

An apple tree takes 3-4 years to mature but Kanungu soils are warmer and fertile and Dr. Musinguzi was able to harvest his first apple after 2 years. His first return on harvests was UGX 70m and now, he is anticipating Ugx80-85M in the next harvest.

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As someone who was fascinated by apples, Dr. Musinguzi has embarked on value addition by making Apple wine, Apple crisps, and Apple pie. These are all unique products on the Ugandan market and therefore, according to him, his Apple farm is the biggest in Uganda.

However, Dr. Musinguzi is facing a challenge of stiff competition from the imported South African apples that have been in the market for a longer period and people prefer them to the locally grown apples.

Dr Musinguzi is convinced that if value addition is given priority at his farm, his apples will outcompete the rest on both local and regional markets.

“I am so grateful for the NSSF assistance towards my apple farm and I believe that if I win in this NSSF friends with benefits competition, I will increase the acreage of my farm and this will in turn boost my production,” Dr. Musinguzi said

Dr. Musinguzi who is extremely supportive of the NSSF Voluntary saving scheme is quite leery on the talks in the press regarding savers wanting to access their benefits at an early age of 45 years old.

To vote for Dr. Jotham Musinguzi in the NSSF Friends with Benefits competition, dial *254# or go to www.nssfug.org.

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