Chilli Growing for Income
The Chilli Growing Programme provides an income generating scheme for families. Parents and guardians of orphaned or disabled children grow chillies with advice and support from the Project’s Chilli Field Extension Officers: Martin, Zaire and Victor. Chillies grow well under the banana trees which surround every rural home, so that no extra land is required to cultivate them. The Project Field Officers cover a large area on their motorbikes giving advice and support at every stage of the process. The Field Officers are also well trained to spot problems and advise families during their visits to farmers, thus providing another vital lifeline for these hidden children.
Chilli buying days are arranged at which the chillies are graded, weighed and transported back to the Project’s chilli store by truck, then, at the end of the growing season sent up to Kampala for export. There are two growing seasons each year. The majority of the sale money from the exporter goes back to the growers; the rest goes towards the chilli truck’s fuel and tyre repairs.
All of the families, who are helped by the project, whether at Surgical Camps or Life Skills Clinics and so on, are encouraged to grow chilli in order to pay for necessities such as school materials, metal roofing, repairs to wheelchairs, transport to and from clinics and medication.
Our exporters tell us that our chilli is the best quality chilli produced in all of Uganda! This is due the Project team training new farmers on how to grow, when to pick and how best to dry the chilli.
Who buys these amazing Bird Eye Chillies?
- The principal buyer is London based
- Chillies shipped to the Med – Italy, France and Spain are principally bottled in small jars and sold in supermarkets. In Italy they are also mixed whole with other spices in their pizza oil. Spain also uses them in their chorizo spice mix.
- Chillies destined for USA are mainly used in bird food mixes of seeds and peanuts – in an attempt to deter squirrels! (apparently birds don’t feel the heat)
- In Germany, apart from the food trade they are also used in pharmaceutical applications for deep heat type creams and patches for muscular and arthritic pains.
- Chillies are supposedly a super food good for blood pressure, weight loss etc - all in all quite a wonder product.