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Vanilla Harvesting Starts

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th May 2003 03:00 AM

Vanilla harvesting began last week in most of the major growing areas in Mukono with increments in farm-gate prices.

Vanilla harvesting began last week in most of the major growing areas in Mukono with increments in farm-gate prices.

By Macrines Nyapendi
Vanilla harvesting began last week in most of the major growing areas in Mukono with increments in farm-gate prices.
Farm gate price were up sh5000 at sh30,000 a kilo from sh25,000 a kilo last season.
This time round, the farmers mobilised each other and set their own prices.
The new development has been blamed on increased vanilla thefts in the district.
“Tension is high. Farmers spend nights in gardens because vanilla is stolen night and day. Ten to 20 cases are reported to the police daily yet security personnel are almost everywhere,” said one farmer.
“We are not impressed with the latest developments in the sector. Competition amongst the buyers has caused a stir, vanilla is not fully mature but we are left with no option,” said John Nviiri, one of the pioneer famers.
The Uganda National Vanilla Association (UNVA) and the USAID-funded Investment for Developing Export Agriculture (IDEA) project, are responsible for announcing harvest periods and setting prices.
Nviiri, a memebr of the association, said exporters are anticipating higher prices since Madagascar has little to send to the market.
“The quality can still be good because the vanilla is fairly mature but the buyer always anticipate for the best. We tried to restrain them from harvesting but we failed” he further said.
Mature beans are supposed to be nine months old anything below nine months is referred to as immature.
Uganda is expecting between 100 and 120 tonnes this year. World prices currently stand are at $140 per kilogram depending on the origin.
Madagascar is the world’s leading producer of vanilla and exports over 600,000 tonnes annualy. End

Vanilla Harvesting Starts

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