Breaking

Over 400 Youths Recruited to Boost Vanilla Protection under UPDF

The recruitment follows a directive by president Yoweri Museveni in response to a request by Vanilla farmers for a special group to guard against vanilla theft. Under the new arrangement, the Uganda Peoples Defence forces will recruit about 600 youths from the district, train them and equip them with firearms.
Youths in a line waiting to go through different interviews to join the Army

Audio 4

More than 400 youths have so far been recruited to join the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF under a special arrangement for the protection of vanilla farms in Buikwe District.

The recruitment follows a directive by president Yoweri Museveni in response to a request by Vanilla farmers for a special group to guard against vanilla theft. Under the new arrangement, the Uganda Peoples Defence forces will recruit about 600 youths from the district, train them and equip them with firearms.

Buikwe is one of the districts in the central region where vanilla production is gaining prominence as a major source of income, and whose production has contributed to Uganda's position as the fourth-biggest vanilla exporter in the world.

Vanilla is now the second-most expensive spice in the world, after saffron with global prices now standing at USD 56 (212,000) per kilo of green vanilla beans and close to USD 700 (2.6 million Shillings), per Kilogramme for processed vanilla, according to figures recently released by Aust & Hachmann Canada, a Montreal-based vanilla importing company affiliated with the oldest vanilla importers in the world.

According to the Uganda Export Promotion Board, Uganda's annual vanilla shipments ranged from 0.65 tons to 75.4 tons between 2011 and 2016. It is also projected that Uganda's production would grow to about 100 metric tons this year, with a potential to double the production in the near future.

However, the production is threatened by an increase in the thefts, which have forced farmers to hire guards equipped with guns, bows and arrows and machetes to protect the crop. But President Yoweri Museveni has since directed that a special group be recruited, trained and remunerated by the UPDF, to protect the crop against thefts.

According to Lt. Col. Felix Nyero, a UPDF training officer in charge of the recruitment drive held at Mehta football pitch in Lugazi municipality, the drive which ends tomorrow is targeting young men and women aged 18-30, who have completed the ordinary level of education.

//Cue in: "we are here…

Cue out…required standards"

Intelligence Officer Lt Col Edward Mutaawe says that after the recruitment, the youths will be taken for thorough military training over the next four months.

//Cue in: "bagenda kutendekebwa…

Cue out…bakomewo"//

Buikwe Resident district Commissioner Fred Bamwine is optimistic that the special arrangement will end vanilla thefts which had threatened the production of vanilla in the country.

//Cue in: "so there has…'

Cue out…total security."//

Yekobowamu Lwamafa, a vanilla farmer in the area welcomed the initiative as a ray of hope for farmers, whose efforts were all going to waste as a result of rampant threats, some of which, ended in loss of life.

//Cue in; "Banziba vanilla…

Cue out…enimiro zaffe"//

Processed Vanilla is used in the production of flavored foods and beverages, as a flavoring in syrups used in making medications and a fragrance in perfumes. Vanilla, also plays a supporting role, adding creaminess to other flavors, such as chocolate.

Images 1

Keywords

Entities