Farmers Groups Boost Food Production In Kabarole

1859 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Following the collapse of cooperatives, several farmers’ groups have been formed to increase food production and improve household income. The farmers work collectively to find market for their produce.

Formation of farmers’ groups in Kabarole district is boosting food production.
 
Following the collapse of cooperatives, several farmers’ groups have been formed to increase food production and improve household income. The farmers work collectively to find market for their produce. Some of the farmers’ groups include those of maize, coffee, rice and bananas. The groups have also purchased chunks of land, where they collectively plant and harvest their produce.
 
In Rwimi Sub County, Rwimi Maize Farmers Group was formed three years ago to help the farmers access market for their produce. The Group has a membership of 200 members. Geoffrey Musinguzi, the chairperson says that in the past, individual farmers were facing challenges like price instability, food insecurity and market linkage.
 
Musinguzi says that following the formation of the group, the farmers now sell their produce collectively and at a higher price and are sure of at least 20 million shillings at the end of the month.
 
He states that the group has managed to secure loans from banks, which has enabled them purchase agricultural inputs and a maize milling machine, to increase production and are using improved agricultural technologies to realize high yields.
 
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In Nyambuzi village, Kibiito Sub County, banana farmers took advantage of the high demand for the product and formed a group of 80 farmers. Helen Nyakwera, a member of the group says that they sell more than 300 bunches of matooke every day to traders from Kampala. She also says that the farmers are no longer cheated as it was in the past, when they were selling individually.
 
Nyakwera says that through the high banana sales, the group has managed to purchase a tractor, which they hire out.  Nyakwera, however, wants cooperatives revived, because they were the lifeline of Ugandan farmers.
 
She adds that apart from the economic gains, the cooperatives were also social gatherings, where farmers used to meet and exchange ideas.
 
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Peter Musinguzi, the monitoring and evaluation officer Kabarole district farmers association, says that the existence of farmers’ groups has enabled the association to collectively train farmers in post-harvest handling and accessing markets. He also says that through the groups, farmers are able to share information regarding marketing and pests and disease control. 
 
Records at the district agricultural department show that there are more than 1,000 farmers who are in groups.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.