Maize dealers in Bukomansimbi district are stranded with their stocks as they wait for government's intervention of stabilizing the market price.
Early this month, cabinet approved a decision to release 100 billion Shillings to be borrowed by traders, cooperatives and the Grain Council of Uganda to purchase the excess maize from farmers at a cost of 500 Shillings per kilogram.
Three weeks later, farmers in Bukomansimbi district are still looking for willing buyers of their maize at government's set price in vain.
Antonio Kapere, a farmer in Butanga village, Kyankoole Parish in Butenga Sub County says they are still being exploited by the very few available middlemen that are buying the maize at a price not exceeding 300 shillings.
Kapere says that he is pondering the option of selling the processed flour as an alternative of avoiding the loss.
He says that despite government's pronouncement, nothing has changed yet the pests have also started attacking their produce.
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Julius Kasule, the coordinator of Butenga Farmers group Cooperative, says they also have no clue on how to the local farmers can directly benefit from the money government set aside to stabilize the market price.
Kasule explains that they also equally stuck with their processed flour due to the very low demand, despite trying to maintain a high quality.
Prossy Nabuuma, the manager at “Ffa Kubibyo” Maize Millers in Bukomansimbi Trading Centre, argues that unless government directly buys off the surplus maize on the market, price will not change hence affecting the whole industry.
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According to a statement from the Ministry of Finance, government channeled the allocated money through the Central Bank from the Agriculture Credit Facility and various commercial banks to be accessed as a loan by willing traders as 15 per cent interest per annum.
But Robert Mwanje, the Vice Chairperson on the Grain Council of Uganda has indicated that even traders are still afraid of accessing the funds over lack of a competitive market for the maize once it is collected in their stores, yet they will required to service the loans.
“Yes we have reached to some traders who are willing to buy off all the maize, but the question is where the market for the stock is.” But we are going to re-engage government on the matter' he added.