By George Busiinge
Farmers in the Albertine Graben region have been encouraged to embrace the warehouse receipting system.
According to Deborah Kyarasiime, the Managing Director of Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority (UWRSA), this will help them to tackle post-harvest losses and price exploitation.
Kyarasiime observed that farmers in the region experience low prices during harvesting. She noted that farmers lack access to affordable credit and market information.
Kyarasiime was today addressing leaders and stakeholders from Bunyoro region during a sensitization and popularization meeting held at Kontiki Hotel in Hoima city.
Kyarasime said UWRSA is interested in storage infrastructure in the region to handle post-harvests. She observed that most warehouses in the area are dilapidated while others are not up to standard.
Currently, Kakumiro has 18 storage structures, Hoima district 32, Hoima City 6, Kikuube and Kiryandongo 6, and Masindi 28, while Buliisa has 1 storage structure.
She added that UWRSA was established in 2006 by the ministry of trade to complement the services of the cooperatives to tackle post-harvest losses and price exploitation.
The Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Andrew Kirungi Byakutaga, noted that due to poor post-harvest handling of maize, the region loses about Shs260 billion annually.
Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya County MP, said that Bunyoro has the poorest farmers. He said that the farmers in Bunyoro are too poor to the extent of selling their crops before harvesting.
They said farmers in the region are not organized; advising that they need to organize themselves in groups.
Stephen Aseera Itaza, the Buhaguzi East County MP, asked farmers to embrace the warehouse receipting system to benefit from the oil and gas sector.
Isaac Asiimwe Goodyear, one of the farmers in Kagadi district, said that they have been putting in little effort because of the little income from farming.
He however said that they are going to sensitize all farmers in the region to work in groups.
Lawrence Mani, the Chairperson of Kyangwali Farmers Association, asked the government to provide farmers with a full set of a tractor.
Bunyoro region currently has a storage capacity of 1, 898, 917 metric tonnes.
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