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Teso Farmers Form Cooperative Union

Martine Erimu, the chairperson of the cooperative says the main objectives of the cooperative is to enable farmers access better improved varieties of seeds, advance technology and mechanization of their agricultural engagements.
Bank Official from Finance Trust addresses farmers in Soroti.

Audio 2

More than 15,000 farmers in the Teso Sub Region have formed a cooperative for grain. 

The farmers, comprising 500 groups of 30 people from districts in the region each started in small groups five years ago as grain millers in Soroti town.

At the inaugural meeting at Soroti Municipal Council on Thursday, the farmers opened an account and elected board members to steer the development of the cooperative. Each member contributes 10,000 shillings for registration and 20,000 shillings for buying a share.

The Teso Grain, Rice Millers, Processing and Marketers Association- TEGRIMMA, is expected to boost production, add value to the produce to enable farmers to improve on their livelihoods and financial independence.   

Martine Erimu, the chairperson of the cooperative says the main objective is to enable farmers to access better-improved varieties of seeds, advance technology and mechanization of their agricultural engagements.   

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The grain cooperative joins other cooperative unions like Teso Cooperative Union dealing with cereals, Teso Fruits Tropical Cooperative dealing with citrus, Katine Joint Farmers’ Cooperative Society dealing with groundnuts, among others.   

Joy Christine Apolot, the commercial officer in Soroti District says the establishment of the cooperative is a solution to middlemen and financial aid for farmers. 

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While Teso used to trade cotton in the cooperatives decades ago, the changing trends now see most of the Iteso sell food crops like maize, cassava, sorghum, sim, among others as cash crops.

Others are embarking on sunflower but all these ventures have seen several families suffer food shortages.   

The situation has been made worse with the changing rain patterns that have seen many farmers count losses during drought and rainy seasons.