Farmers lament low food prices
Posted Friday, February 1 2013 at 02:00
Majority of whom are war victims say they might fail to rebuild their lives.
Hundreds of farmers in Ogom Sub-county, the food basket in Pader District, have complained of low food prices offered by dealers.
The farmers, majority of whom are victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, said if the trend continues, it would bog down efforts to rebuild their lives and homes after the two-decade insurgency.
“We cannot support our children’s education because of the low food prices these so-called middlemen are offering us,” Mr Denis Okwera, a farmer said.
However, Mr Okwera said they were also cheated because they do not cooperate to fix prices for their produce.
“You cannot blame the buyers entirely, we should equally blame ourselves for being disorganised,” he said.
Ms Moreen Layet, another resident, said the low prices have hindered her from taking her sick children for treatment at government health centres.
“We request the government to give us loans because women are trust worthy and they can be able to pay back the money,” Ms Layet said.
A kilogramme of maize is sold at Shs400, while a kilogramme of millet costs Shs700.
Sorghum is at Shs100 a cup in villages and Shs200 in towns. Beans and peas are at Shs500 a kilogramme and simsim costs Shs2,100 a kilogramme.
In a phone interview yesterday, Mr Maxwell Oola, the Ogom Naads coordinator, said efforts were being made to rectify the situation.
Mr Oola said recently they arrested a cotton buyer at Pukor Parish for allegedly cheating farmers with unstandardised weighing scale.
“I can assure you that we have been liaising with the district commercial office to fix the prices of the agricultural produce. The only problem is that these people (buyers) have a stronghold in villages,” he said.
Mr Oola said a committee had been instituted at the parish level to monitor the buyers.