Thursday July 12 2018

Bunyooro farmers decry low maize prices, debts

Farmers said most of them borrowed money to

Farmers said most of them borrowed money to plant the maize yet they have failed to get sufficient market for it 

By JOSEPH KATO

Kampala. The Insu Farmers in the Bunyooro sub region have decried the fast shrinking maize prices which has left many counting losses and unable to service debts.
Speaking during the Daily Monitor Seeds of Gold Farm Clinic in Hoima at the weekend, farmers said most of them borrowed money to plant the maize yet they have failed to get sufficient market for it.
Mr Francis Mukisa, said he borrowed Shs4m which he spent on cultivating the 12 acres of land on which he grew the maize expecting to pay back after selling his maize.

He, however, said he was uncertainty since maize prices have dropped from Shs1500 to Shs300.
“We were all convinced that maize prices would be high. We got loans and invested. We staked our properties as security but we are likely to lose them because the current maize prices cannot enable us recover the money,” Mr Mukasa said.

Bunyooro kingdom premier Andrew Byakutaga, said majority of maize farmers in the sub region had expressed fear of losing their property because they have nowhere to sell the maize.
“Almost every home grew maize because the prices were high. Some invested all their savings and others borrowed the money they invested. Now the prices have dropped and our farmers have nowhere to sell the maize,” he said.

Mr Byakutaga blamed agriculture extension workers who he said failed to alert farmers on why maize prices had spiked, noting that maize prices went high last year because of a prolonged drought that hit most parts of the country.
“Had these [agriculture] extension workers warned farmers that maize prices were high just because of the drought, they would have understood that prices would eventually drop once the rains started. Our farmers were just left to guess and they are now living in doubt,” he added.

jkato@ug.nationmedia.com

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