Ugandan farmers are counting losses after maize prices hit Shs200 in many parts of the country. Farmers have sought government intervention, but in vain.
Today, Vincent Ssempijja Bamulangaki, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries gave an unconvincing explanation about the current maize prices.
His statement titled ‘MINISTER`S TAKE ON LOW PRICES OF MAIZE’ was shared on the ministry’s official facebook page.
Below is the statement;
If post-harvesting handling of cash crops like coffee, maize or beans is poor their quality deteriorates and they fetch less profit for the farmers.
A lot of our agricultural produce is spoilt and lost from the time the crops approach maturity in the fields, through harvesting, storage, transportation, and marketing.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) shares with you the pain and frustrations that come with the unforeseen price fluctuations that have seen the prices of maize drop as low as 200.
However, much as this is a demoralizing situation to all of us more often than not the solution always lies with the farmers, middlemen and then the final buyers——But largely it is between the buyers and the farmers;
How: The buyers of our grains have always claimed that the quality of our harvest/produce is far below the regional and international standards. For example look at the picture below of a farmer drying the whole lot of maize cobs on bare ground——believe me or not, the quality of that maize is already compromised by whoever has seen this——which unfortunately happens everywhere in Uganda.
No one will pay much for maize or maize flour which presumably is mixed with soil.
Let us be careful with the way we handle our harvests and produce, not only limited to maize but all the grains and coffee, cotton, cocoa etc. It is only when the quality improves that the price will commensurately go up to the farmer`s expectations.
NOTE: Government is doing everything possible to bring the situation to normal.