Ibrahim Kawekawe, a farmer from Burirehe village agrees that his cocoa wasn’t ready for sell but was tempted by buyers who come to them before the start of the harvesting season. He says several farmers give in because of financial challenges.
Local leaders in Kisuba Sub County in
Bundibugyo district have intensified community patrols to arrest farmers and
traders involved in harvesting and selling immature cocoa.
The operation has so
far seen the arrest of more than 10 farmers and traders.
They were detained briefly at Burere police
post and released on police bond. Over 1000Kgs of immature cocoa has also
been impounded from farmers.
Most farmers opt to sell immature cocoa to willing
buyers because of high demand. While most farmers would sell off their gardens to traders because of theft, the nationwide
curfew has given them some sigh of relief.
Bundibugyo district enacted by-laws directing
farmers to harvest ready cocoa between 15th and 18th and between 30th and 5th
Samuel Mwesige Bonjo, the Kisuba Sub county LC 3 chairperson, says
they have started routine patrols as local leaders following a tip off by farmers
that some of their counterparts have begun harvesting immature cocoa.
He says local council chairpersons have teamed up
to ensure that farmers stop comprising the quality of cocoa from the
//Cue in: “Munkungu ene ezi…
Cue out:..bakutekamu kisula,”//
Alex Kolongo, the LC 1 Chairperson Burirehe-Bulyambwa
in Kisuba Sub County says initial efforts by local chairpersons discouraging
farmers from harvesting immature cocoa had failed to yield results.
that they are optimistic that farmers will comply with the directives aimed at
maintaining quality cocoa since they have now involved sub county heads.
//Cue in: “Ninsaba nti…
Cue out:..ikityakoliwo kinu,”//
Zadoki Namanaya, the Manager Kagema Cocoa Store
condemns farmers and buyers involved in harvesting immature cocoa, saying it
doesn’t only affect cocoa prices in the district but the national and
He says Olam Uganda Limited, which buys cocoa
signed contracts with farmers in the district in regards to the quality of
Namanya says compromising the quality of cocoa is a big threat to
the survival of the business.
//Cue in: “But again they…
Cue out:… cut the price.”//
Ibrahim Kawekawe, a farmer from Burirehe village
agrees that his cocoa wasn’t ready for sell but says they were tempted by buyers
who have been coming to them before the start of the harvesting season.
several farmers give in because of financial challenges.
//Cue in: “Twabona madhekekele galimu…
Cue out: …mutyalo makumi abiri.”//
Hamza Asaba, a re-known cocoa farmer in the
District, says with the increasing market for cocoa, farmers are enticed into
selling because of the availability of on spot buyers.
//Cue in: "Buli omu aina...
Cue out:..mulimu aka kakaga."//
Joseph Bbaala, another farmer says the current
lock down means most farmers are constrained financially to avoid temptation from
On average a farmer can harvest more than 3 bags from an acre of cocoa
plantation. A Kilogram of cocoa costs over Shillings 7500.
Uganda exports about 26,000 tons of cocoa and
more than 70% of it is produced by Bundibugyo District. Over Shillings 90b is
the estimated value of cocoa that is traded in Bundibugyo annually since