Uganda: 200 ‘Wealth Creation’ farmers can’t find market for their produce

More than 200 model farmers in Uganda’s Kaliro District, who acquired citrus fruits and mango seedlings under the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme, have asked the government to find markets for their produce. The farmers, owning between just a few hectares of citrus fruit plantations each, received the seedlings between 2015 and 2017.

Charles Wambuzi, who owns three hectares of mango and orange gardens: “When I check my records I see that I am only making losses. I feel depressed because I have not found a market for my first harvest.”

Godfrey Nsaiga, another farmer who owns a 1.5 hectare fruit garden, said he acquired the seedlings in 2014 and harvested about 100 sacks of oranges in 2017 but due to lack of ready market, he ended up selling each sack (about 90 kgs) at Shs30,000 (€6.80), making a loss of more than Shs100,000 (€22,67).

Besides that, the fruit farmers noted that last year’s prolonged drought affected their harvest with many of their crops drying up. However, they have asked government to consider providing them with irrigation incentives at subsidized prices.

Conversely, Kaliro senior agriculture engineer Latif Wamtimba told that the farmers in the district have a negative attitude towards work and believe in rudimentary ways of solving issues. “We emphasised and demonstrated how to plant the seedlings … but they instead dig deep holes which expose plants to pests and diseases from the soil.”

The Kaliro OWC officer, Maj Stephen Kivumbi, confirmed the challenges and said the authorities are addressing them.

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