Rebecca Mukyala, a farmer under Nambale Farmers Organisation in Iganga district, says they came together as a group of 156 farmers and gathered 40 tons of maize for sale to WFP. She says initially they had challenges in regards to handling the produce due to pests, but with the good storage practices they succeeded.
At least 250,000 small scale farmers and leaders have received training from WFP on improving their productivity, post-harvest handling and collective marketing leading to improved quality of grains and seeds.
In the past, Ugandan farmers struggled to meet standards like maintaining a certain moisture content and particular grain size leading to the rejection of their produce. Some of the problems were blamed on poor storage and poor post-harvest handling.
Lydia Wamala, the WFP Communications Officer, says the farmers have increased their knowledge on airtight household storage equipment because of the training offered by WFP, saying the provision of subsidized post-harvest loss equipment like Silos and bags and establishment of 60 community warehouses in 29 districts has helped the farmers a great deal.
"The training modules include value addition, warehouse management, business planning, financing and governance. Selling produce as a group has advantage of gaining negotiation power and attracting bulk buyers, WFP encourages farmers to engage in collective marketing, and empowers them with knowledge and skills to run their agricultural operations as a business" Wamala said.
In 2016 alone, WFP bought 5,400 metric tons of produce worth USD 1.7 million from small holder farmers groups in the country. Rebecca Mukyala, a farmer under Nambale Farmer's Organisation in Iganga district, says they came together as a group of 156 farmers and gathered 40 tons of maize for sale to WFP. She says initially they had challenges in regards to handling the produce due to pests, but with the good storage practices they succeeded.
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Although a kilogram of Maize in the open market costs Shillings 850, the farmers sell it to WFP at Shillings 1200. Ronald Weseyo, another farmer says sometimes farmers harvest immature maize to make quick money, which compromises quality.
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Christine Keny, a member of Nambale Farmer's Association says she expects to reap big from her two acres maize garden since WFP has accepted to buy it.
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