i definitely need NAADS, or operation wealth creation


I LIKE mangoes. I spend a lot of money on mangoes. A few years ago, after we had moved into our new place and were basking in the achievement, a pal called Edgar Byama dropped by one weekend and gave us a couple of fruit tree seedlings.

My joy at receiving them fuelled my planting efforts and I tended the trees carefully over the first year until I spotted a couple of mangoes popping out as fruit.

My excitement was kept in check by the anticipation of getting to slice into them when they became ripe one day, and I made daily pilgrimages to the tree to check on the literal fruits of my labour.

Until one day when even from a distance I could tell that something was not right. My chest tightened as I got to the tree and was forced to accept the empty truth.

A quick investigation resulted in a delayed but dumbfounded confession from an askari who was astonished that I could put so much energy into establishing where three or so mangoes had gone.

The wretched fellow must have been switching glances from my angry face to the house and car, and back again, thinking that the value of those mangoes surely was not commensurate to the amount of feeling my eyes bore into his. But I was unsympathetic, and explained to him that it was the principle of the thing – even though I did not mention the amount of food I happily plied him with daily.

It didn’t make sense to him and his apologies were certainly not as profuse as the mangoes had probably been juicy, but I accepted them anyway, in the belief that it would be a matter of weeks till I had replacements naturally sent my way (in the askari and the mango sense, both).

I was wrong.

It took more than another year or so – not to get the askari changed, that happened quicker; with the mangoes, eventually the flowers showed up again and I followed the life cycle of the fruit keenly until, a few weeks ago, I noticed a healthy offering developing on the same healthy tree.

My excitement levels shot up again, and I took the current askari through a quick module on ethics at work and respecting other people’s property, then watched the fruit grow. After a couple of weeks, I found myself unable to control my excitement when they reddened and increased in size.

Such was my loss of self-control that I took photographs and sent them round with pride, and purred a bit when friends sent back congratulatory comments.

20150517_165146
The fruits of my ‘labour’

For ten minutes.

When some pals began asking for guidance so they could also procure mango seedlings in order to venture into some level of “farming” as well, I began to feel how foolish I have actually been all along.

Five mangoes? Maybe ten, these few years past? Right here a few metres from where my bed stands?

Perhaps that askari I gave a rough time had left to plant a couple of dozen mango trees of his own and was that very day filling up sacks to send to the market, while I was here proudly exhibiting my five mangoes using a smartphone whose value at purchase could have funded a small but sizeable mango farm complete with cost of land!

I realised, that day, that I need NAADS. I am ill-educated and ignorant. A fool, growing fruit as a past time instead of seriously investing in farming so that I spend less cash on the fruits themselves. NAADS, or Operation Wealth Creation, should be aimed at the likes of me, and other city dwellers wasting resources instead of investing them sensibly into long-term, value-addition-based agricultural ventures.

3 thoughts on “i definitely need NAADS, or operation wealth creation

    1. For home backyard gardening, you can join the Facebook group The Backyard Gardener-Uganda. There are very many passionate and resourceful people there. For even more help, go over to the Kawanda Research Centre and grow your network actively. It’s actually not very hard, but not easy either!

      Liked by 1 person

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