By Prossy Nandudu
The ministry of trade, industry and cooperatives has called upon is investors to partner with in public private partnership to construct storage facilities for farmers across the country to reduce the deteriorating quality of grain in Uganda.
Once the storage facilities are constructed, farmers will be in position to store their grain right from their gardens to the stores to avoid contamination that takes place during harvest and transportation.
The trade minister, Amelia Kyambade, in a meeting with grain traders in Kampala said despite efforts by government and donor partners to support grain and cereals sector, stakeholders still face challenges in transportation and storage.
“Quality deterioration occurs rapidly in these phases when it’s not properly handled and when damage occurs to the grain all people in the entire value chain including the country’s economy is affected,” noted the minister.
It’s estimated that a farmer loses 40% from a 100kg bag of grain due to contamination and storage, which in the long run reduces market, resulting into losses, according to the Grain Council of Uganda.
The minister said the government does not have the money for the construction of storage facilities across the country but will negotiate with investors interested the storage sector.
“Once they come on board government can decide to secure them land as equity for construction and then agree on the terms that will favor the grain farmers, investors and government,” explained Kyambade.
In the same meeting the deputy head of Programmes from the World Food Programme, Germin Koffi Akoubia called upon government to regulate the grain sector in Uganda, to increase demand for Ugandan grain.
“Traders from the now troubled South Sudan come in and buy grain from all sorts of stores, mix them up and sell as a product from Uganda. This drives away potential buyers,” noted Koffi.