Sell of Premature Crops Worries Kabale, Rubanda Leaders

1945 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Several farmers have reportedly taken money from middlemen approving a pre-harvest sale of food crops, some of which are at weeding stage. Desperate farmers often sale off Irish and sweet potato gardens, sorghum, peas and beans, far in advance of the actual production of the crops.

Leaders in the districts of Kabale and Rubanda in western Uganda are disturbed by the continued sell of pre-mature crops by farmers to middlemen from neighboring countries.

Several farmers have reportedly taken money from middlemen approving a pre-harvest sale of food crops, some of which are at weeding stage. Desperate farmers often sale off Irish and sweet potato gardens, sorghum, peas and beans, far in advance of the actual production of the crops.

Emily Kyongabirwe, a farmer from Nyamabare cell, Rwamucucu Sub County says that she earns more profit at reduced labor from the sale of pre-mature crops.  Emmanuel Nkunda, another farmer from Nyamabaare says that he is forced to sell pre-mature crops from the garden in order to raise school fees for his children.

Nkunda adds that selling crops in the gardens reduces labor costs.
 
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But the practice is worrying leaders who argue that it is not only risky, but it affects nutrition and food security needs since parents relinquish ownership of all yields on their land through such transactions.

Rubanda District Chairperson Kenneth Jogo Biryabarema says that the trend is now common in the Sub-Counties of Muko, Ikumba, Hamurwa and Bubaare which have been invaded by traders from Kampala and neighboring Rwanda. Biryabarema fears that the areas could soon become food insecure.
 
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Martin Kiiza Kasagara, the Executive Director of the National Children Authority says the two districts need to enact bi-laws restricting farmers from selling non harvested food crops. The same law would be used to enforce food storage and restoration of granaries.
 
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Research undertaken by government and the United Nations Children's agency- UNICEF in 2015 in the then Kabale district indicates that 40 percent of children in the area were malnourished due to poor nutrition.

Kiiza says that in order to improve nutrition and food security, locals must stop selling all the food while still in gardens.
 
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However, Patrick Besigye Keihwa, the Kabale District Chairperson says that restricting farmers from selling pre-mature crops in gardens is not applicable because they own a right to sell what they have grown.  Keihwa says that continuous sensitization could help farmers understand the disadvantages and end the practice.
 
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About the author

Samuel Amanya
Samuel Amanya is the Kigezi Region URN bureau chief. Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts fall under his docket. Samuel Amanya has been a Uganda Radio Network reporter since August 2016. Before becoming a URN staff reporter, Amanya had written for the network for several years as a freelancer.


Amanya was also a Voice of Kigezi reporter from 2011 to 2016.


A journalism graduate from African College of Commerce Kabale, Amanya values his independence. Amanya says URN is a home for his talent because it lets him explore his journalistic interests without limits.

Amanya is fascinated by the crime beat and some of his best stories have come out of that interest. Amanya says he aims to be all round beat reporter.