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Selling seedlings in Uganda

Growing up, Hellen Machika, 44 observed her uncle do agriculture and help farmers in his community and from that time, she knew that there couldn’t be a greater calling. At university, she did a degree in agriculture to set her in the career of her dream.

“From university, I joined British American Tobacco (BAT) as an area leaf manager but was involved in production of tobacco seedlings as well, which interested me. When I left, I joined Agromax Uganda Limited as a manager and later, the chief agronomist and was also involved in raising seedlings,” she explains.

However, while doing her job, she noticed that a lot of farmers messed up things at the seedling stage largely because they didn’t know the right thing to do. In this, she saw an opportunity to venture into raising seedlings. In 2013, Machika quit her job to nurture her dreams.

“My first order was from someone I knew from my previous workplace. After they learned that I had left, they followed me and wanted tomato seedlings worth Shs1m. I didn’t have a greenhouse so I raised them on my veranda, gave them all the care they needed and it was successful. That start really pushed me in my new business,” she recalls.

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