Poor Post Harvest Handling of Maize Hits Kabarole Farmers Hard

5195 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Maize Farmers in Kabarole are losing out on market for their maize produce because of poor post harvest handling of maize

The poor post harvest handling of maize is affecting farmers in Kabarole district. In Kabarole maize is commonly grown in Kasunganyanja in Rwimi Sub County and Kasenda Sub Counties.
The farmers lack machines to clean, dry and store their maize harvest which compromises the quality of their produce. Majority of the farmers dry their maize on bare grounds and dirty surface exposing it to dust and stones.
The farmers store their maize in their living rooms which are not aerated. Richard Ayebale, a farmer in Kasunganyanga parish says that his dirty maize has cost him many customers.
Musinguzi says that there is no single maize cleaning machine in Rwimi.
Ayebale says that he is forced to travel to Fort Portal town to clean his maize, but he incurs over 100,000 shillings on transport and other services.
He says that last month out of fifteen sacks of maize, three were purchased and the rest rejected because the produce was dirty.
Ayebale wants the district agricultural department to assist the maize farmers to set up the facilities because maize is an important food crop.
//Cue in: “this dirty maize…
Cue out: …making a lot of losses.”
Rose Bagonza, a farmer in Kasunganyinja stores sacks of maize on the cold floor in her two roomed house which is not aerated and makes the maize get wet.

Bagonza says that the maize is stored in the house for three or four months and when she gets market, part of the maize is wet and is rejected by customers.
She says that she used to store the maize at Nyakatonzi warehouse in Kasese district for more than four months but she was let down by the high costs charged at the warehouse.
Last month, 110 tones of maize belonging to Rwimi Maize farmers association was rejected by the World Food Programme (WFP) because of being dirty.
Godfrey Tugume, the chairperson of the association says that they plan to construct a storage facility, but they are cash strapped. He also says that they have requested the district agricultural department for assistance to the farmers to purchase maize cleaning machines.
Grace Kyomya, the acting Kabarole district agricultural officer says that the issue has been brought to the attention of the department but there is nothing they can do.
She says that in the 2010/2011 financial year, the department budgeted for construction of storage rooms for maize farmers in Rwimi and Kasenda Sub County, but the money has never been allocated to the department.
Kyomya says that provision of cleaning and storage facilities will be the department’s priority in the 2011/2012 financial year.


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.