Iganga Farmers Upbeat over New cereal Collection Point

2202 Views Iganga, Uganda

In short
Farmers have over the year's suffered with poor storage facilities with produce often destroyed by insects, poor weather and dirt. As a result, they encountered low sales and losses as maize prices dropped to an all-time low of 350 Shillings per kilogramme.

Farmers in Iganga district can now earn more from cereals thanks to trainings in soil management, land cultivation and post-harvest crop handling offered to them by World Food Programme-WFP.

Farmers have over the year's suffered with poor storage facilities with produce often destroyed by insects, poor weather and dirt. As a result, they encountered low sales and losses as maize prices dropped to an all-time low of 350 Shillings per kilogramme.

Several farmers also abandoned production of cereals as an income generating activity. However, today they have renewed hope with the opening of a 300 metric ton cereal   satellite collection point in Nambaale Sub County in Iganga district.

The Collection Point worth USD 71,000 (231,774,000 million Shillings) is expected to boost the production capacity of at least 21 farmer groups from Nambaale, Nawandala and Namungalwe Sub Counties. The satellite collection point was constructed under the agriculture and market support / purchase for progress programme funded by USAID and feed the future through the WFP.

WFP Country Representative Michael Dunford says the project is centered at bringing farmers together, to prepare better farm output and increase tonnage for better prices and markets.
 
//Cue in "is a community…"
Cue out "…prices for that."//
 
Dunford says to address the post-harvest losses, 3,400 home metallic silos with a storage capacity of 1.2 metric tons each have been availed to farmers at a cost of 560,000 Shillings. The cost is shared by WFP and the farmers who only pay 170,600 Shillings to acquire one.

Because of the partial vacuum inside the silos, cereals are not eaten up by insects and can stay for up to 10 years or more.

Farmers lose up to 30 % of their produce after harvest.  WFP says the losses are a result of rudimentary post-harvest practices.

Prince Patrick Izimba Gologolo, from Kigulu chiefdom says many farmers hit cereals with hard surfaces that break the seeds. Others still dry them on surfaces contaminated with intoxicants. Gologolo is optimistic that prices will shoot up with the improvement in planting, storage and marketing practices.
 
//Cue in "honestly we have…"
Cue out "…acreage of maize."//
 
Sarah Kwagala, one the farmers from Nambaale Sub County says farmers can now be able to compete on the global market with an improvement in the quality of cereals.  She says the poor cereal storage had affected the quality of seeds.
 
//Cue in "I really think…"
Cue out "…of the products."//
 
The WFP has constructed six satellite storage facilities in great Busoga region since 2010.