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Maize Dealers Ask Gov't for Training on Proper Storage

Maize sacks in one of the produce stores in Idudi town council, Bugweri district.

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Maize produce dealers from the districts of Namutumba and Bugweri, have asked government to skill them on proper storage techniques, which they say will enable them to trade in quality grain within both the local and regional markets.

Their call comes just a few days after government released a list of 23 companies that, have been since fully certified to freely export maize products to Kenya. 

The farmers who spoke to URN on Sunday, say that they missed out on Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS approval after the inspectors ruled that their grain quality was below the required grain export standards. 

Before Kenya’s ban on Uganda’s maize imports earlier this month, the affected produce dealers say that they were exporting their products freely on individual basis without any tight infringements at the boarder different boarder points, but with these newly introduced guidelines, only intensive training on proper storage will keep their businesses afloat.

Lovisa Namusenwa, a maize dealer from Ivukula trading center in Namutumba district, says that she has resolved to transform her 500bags of maize into animal feeds since it has been rejected for export. “Since my maize cannot be exported to Kenya where we always earn better profits compared to the local markets, I have resolved to manufacture animal feeds other than letting it waste away,” Namusenwa says. 

Musa Mugweri, the chairperson of Idudi produce dealers’ association in Bugweri district, says that they are stuck with 20 tons of maize after failure to fulfill the UNBS certification standards benchmarks. 

Mugweri adds that the ministry of agriculture should assign grain quality experts per district, who according to him can be mandated with the task of training farmers and produce dealers on acceptable post-harvest handling and storage practices which will save the industry from embarrassment within the regional markets after grain export rejects. 

//cue in: “tuli… 

Cue out…batusomese,”.//

Brian Mugoya, another maize dealer from Bugweri district says that, their produce stores are in a sorry state, with leaking roofs and open to dusty roads which undermines the quality of their grain products in the course of storage.

Mugoya adds that, ministry of agriculture should introduce low interest loans which can be availed to produce dealers’ associations all over the country with an aim of helping them to construct quality storage facilities to enhance on the grain quality. 

//cue in: “nze kye’nsaba… 

Cue out…etwambe,”. 

Hussein Mudanbada, a maize dealer from Kayiti trading center in Namutumba district, says that he bought his maize at a cost of 600 Shillings per kilogram, but since his stock has not been certified for export, he has resolved to sell a kilogram at 400 Shillings within the available local market.

//cue in: “ndi muguzi… 

Cue out…edindi,”. 

Meanwhile, Nelson Kirenda, the Bugweri district chief administrative officers says that, they have deployed agriculture extension workers who are assigned the duty of with sensitizing both farmers and produce dealers, on the different post-harvest handling skills which will save them from incurring loses involved in export rejects. 

             

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