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UGX 2,000 Cotton Price Excites Farmers in Acholi

Jolly Sabune, the Chief Executive Officer CDO says this is the second-highest indicative price set for cotton, in the country and notes that it’s an incentive for farmers to boost cotton production.
A young boy ploughs a farmland in Gulu District recently.

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Cotton farmers in the Acholi sub-region are excited with the new price of cotton that has hit 2,000 Shillings.

Recently, the Cotton Development Organization-CDO announced an indicative price of shillings 2,000 for a kilogram of cotton. The indicative price helps to regulate the price at which buyers can purchase cotton from farmers and avoid exploitation by middlemen.

Jolly Sabune, the Chief Executive Officer CDO says this is the second-highest indicative price set for cotton, in the country and notes that it’s an incentive for farmers to boost cotton production.

Sabune says the country lost nearly 70 percent of cotton crops last year due to devastating floods that affected the production and prices of cotton. She notes that the indicative price set is due to the stable cotton price at the International Market. 

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She says the indicative price announced in agreement with the private sector will encourage farmers to plant more cotton, get enough income to purchase farm inputs, manage against weeds, and spraying against pests for better yields.

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Ronald Kidega, a cotton farmer in Tultul central village in Katwotwo Parish, Orom Sub County in Kitgum District says the indicative price will save them against exploitation from middlemen.

He says in the past farmers have been selling their cotton between 1,500 and shillings 1,800.

Kidega says that the increment in the current price will boost cotton growing. Kidega says he planted cotton on a 3.5 hectares piece of land and anticipates getting some good money after selling his harvest.

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John Nyeko, another cotton farmer with two acres of cotton crops says farmers will be in a position to buy farm inputs this farming season after selling their harvest due to the good market price.

Nyeko also reiterates that middlemen who come into the community have been cheating many desperate farmers with cheap prices yet they resale them to lint factories at higher prices. He anticipates with the indicative price set at 2hillings 2,000, there is high hope that the price may increase at the end of the year.

Cotton experts earlier predicted that the good weather condition currently prevailing in the Acholi sub-region this farming season is expected to result in a bumper cotton harvest.

Douglas Bhosopo, the seeds inspector at Uganda Cotton Ginners and Exporters Association says the region is expected to produce around 51,000 bales of cotton lint this season, up from about 40,000 bales produced last year.

Bhosopo also reiterated that heavy rainfall in the last farming season affected the flowering and boiling of cotton in most districts in the Acholi Sub-region.  

Last year, buyers purchased cotton between shillings 1,500 to 1,600 shillings while in 2019, CDO set the indicative cotton price at shillings 1,000. Many farmers across the country however rejected the shillings 1,000 indicative cotton price.

Acholi Sub-region had around 78,000 cotton farmers in the past. The numbers have however reduced to about 35,000 farmers.

According to Uganda Cotton Development Organization, cotton is the main source of income for some 250,000 households and remains one of Uganda’s third-largest export crops after coffee and tea.