Apart from bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other food crops in the country, balugu (climbing yams) is also one of the most liked food crops.
It is commonly grown in the Buganda region in central Uganda.
Yam is a common name for some plant species that form edible climbing tubers. It helps so much during drought periods because it can be preserved for future consumption.
The commonest examples include kyetumula, luyiki, nandigoya and kisebe. Yam can be eaten without sauce.
It was gradually abandoned in favour of more productive plants like matooke, potatoes, rice and sweet pototaes.
Musa Mukasa from Namasuba, Kikajo in central Uganda, grows balugu on his farm.
He started on a quarter-of-an-acre with 100 balugu plants and he has now expanded his farm to an acre.
He said that these yams have three important roles, and that is food, medicine and money generating.
“Balugu cures most diseases such as cough, malaria, flue and many other diseases. Therefore, it is important for all families to have this yam variety on their farms,” Mukasa said.
“The yam matures in one year, and when mature, it tastes sweet but an immature crop is sour. It yields well when cultivated under fertile soils,” Mukasa said.
“One tuber is sold at sh5,000 and one crop can fill half a sack and generate a lot of income to a farmer that supports a family to cater for the basic needs,” Mukasa said.
Balugu can be grown in in urban areas as well because it does not require a lot of space.