Maize farmers in the Rwenzori region have partnered with the Uganda Commodities Exchange to sell their produce to international aid organizations.
The partnership with members of Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union is funded by the European Union. It facilitates the processing and packaging of cereals and the arrangement of good farm gate prices for produce sold to international aid agencies, particularly the World Food Program.
Adam Bwambale, the manager of Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union, says the farmers have so far sold 200 metric tones of maize to the World Food Program. He expects this amount to grow to 400 metric tones by the end of this month.
Bwambale says machines purchased using funds from the European Union can process and re-bag 10 tones of maize a day for export. He says this has facilitated the process of the sale of produce around the country and abroad.
Currently the price of maize in Kasese is 200 shillings per kilogram. Farmers working with Nyakatonzi Growers Cooperative Union to process their maize sell it at 400 shillings per kilogram.
Jane Kabugho and John Matovu are just two of the hundreds of farmers from Kabarole, Kasese and Kamwenge who are seeing real gains from the partnership. They say that over the years they lost a lot of money from the sale of produce on the black market. Now, they are able to beat the regional maize glut and obtain good stable prices for their harvests.
Farmers in the partnership with Uganda Commodities Exchange are also benefiting from the supply of improved seeds from Kazinga Channel Seed Company.