“We want to limit the exportation of raw materials from Uganda within the region. Uganda should be exporting posho to Kenya and not maize grain and then later import chicken feeds from Kenya.”
He noted that government through the Ministry of Trade is in efforts to revamp Uganda Commodities Exchange to ensure regulation of standards and that the ordinary farmer benefits more.
“There’s absence of a regulatory framework and the result of this is that local farmers are cheated. Nowadays, whoever puts a weighing scale under a tree becomes an authorized dealer in maize grain. Farmers are offered Ughs200 for a kilogram of maize grain yet the end seller gets Ugshs1,000 in Kampala.”
He said that a regulatory framework for proper licensing of dealers will soon be put in place.
While agriculture maintains the biggest footprint in Uganda’s economy with majority relying on it for income, farmers lack bargaining power and linkages to large markets. This is especially attributed to lack of farmer cooperatives which would among other roles be ensuring
adoption of better yields.
Ambassador Onen admitted that the absence of these cooperatives is a big challenge but assured that government intends to establish the Warehouse System Authority so as to deal with the infrastructural demands.