The Cents for Seeds project operates around distributing two types of seeds in their loans: soya and sesame. Typically, sesame seeds are distributed in June ready for the second season. Now, in August, is when members are growing and tending to their sesame crops. Let us explain what comes next…
Sesame needs to be planted in an area of full sun with soil that drains well – two things Uganda has plenty of!
After months of growing and tending to their crops, the time comes to harvest. Farmers will spend a lot of time removing the crops from their gardens/fields….
…tie them up into bunches…
… and then hang the bunches on this handmade rack to dry. Now, they need a lot of sun to dry out.
Once it’s dry enough, they’ll remove the bunches from the rack and then proceed to hit them against the rack, causing the seeds to break free from the pods and fall to the ground below where they have a sheet to catch it.
If the seeds are taken down too early and are still even a little bit damp, the quality can be affected and the seed cannot be used the next year.
Seeds then get bagged into sacks and stored, ready to return to the Love Mercy team. Those harvesting can expect anywhere between 150kgs-300kgs of seeds, and after giving back their initial loan of 30kgs will use the remainder to either sell, eat or replant for the next season.
The following year, that returned loan is handed out to another farmer in the project!