Farmers Cooperative Runs Out of Space for Storing Produce

2096 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
David Byaruhanga, an extension officer attached to Mairirwe Farmer’s Cooperative Society says that they are faced with a problem of storing farmers produce.

Mairirwe Farmers Cooperative Society in Hoima district has run short of storage space because of increased production by farmers. Mairirwe Farmers Cooperative Society is the only active cooperative in the district, with more than 400 farmers. David Byaruhanga, an extension officer attached to Mairirwe Farmer’s Cooperative Society says that they are faced with a problem of storing farmers produce. He says that the storage facility at Mairirwe trading center can only store up to 500 tons of produce yet farmers’ produce now exceeds 1000 tons.

He attributes this to increased membership and high production by farmers as a result of improved farming techniques. He says at the time the facility was established about seven years ago the society had only 85 farmers producing at 8 bags of rice from each acre. At the moment, Mairirwe Farmers Cooperative Society has 400 farmers producing at an average of 20 bags per acre. The society has now been forced to open up two more small stores in the neighboring trading centers.

Byaruhanga explains that the stores are still not enough and this forces them to keep the other produce at the farmers’ homes, which at times compromises the quality of the produce.

//“Cue in: “We have a store…
Cue out: …put more stores.”//

Beatrice Nsungwa, a rice farmer and a member of Mairirwe Cooperative society agrees to the fact that the society has lost storage space due to increased food production. Nsungwa says under the cooperative she has been supported to improve her scale of production from only two bags in 2005 to between 20 and 30 bags now.

//Cue in: “I have been working…
Cue out: …seeds to plant”//

Like other farmers Cooperatives, Mairirwe Farmers Cooperative society provides extension and loan services to its members. It also provides timely market information to farmers and stores their produce awaiting better market prices.