By John Agaba
Uganda grains dealers want the government to stop foreign traders from buying yields directly from Uganda farmers.
On Tuesday, the maize and beans dealers asked the government to put in place stringent measures stopping traders from neighboring countries like South Sudan and Kenya from buying yields directly from farmers when the food crops are still in the garden.
Michael Tuape, the Cactus Africa CEO, said it was common practice for traders from neighbouring countries especially South Sudan to cross the border into Uganda and directly buy produce from Ugandan farmers, even when the produce wasn’t yet ready, still in the garden.
This practice, Tuape said, leaves the farmers getting peanuts, with the abnormal profits going to the shrewd traders.
“They come from South Sudan and buyoff maize, cassava, beans and potato gardens, before farmers can even determine the quality and real worth of their gardens,” Annemarie Akulo, a grains dealer, said.
“Around the harvest season, all of Northern Uganda, Teso region and some parts of West Nile, you will find these traders,” Akulo added. “This puts the farmer at a disadvantage. They sell their yields because they are pressed. And don’t have an alternative source of income”.
This was during the maize and beans stakeholders meeting in Kampala.
Tuape asked the government put in place stringent measures barring this ‘enemy-of-development’ trade.
“In Kenya, you can’t just go to a farmer and buy their produce. You need to have a trading license. But you come here (Uganda). Everyone just comes in. We need regulation,” Tuape said.