Govt sets aside 100bn for the purchase of maize by private sector: Government has set aside Ugx 100bn shillings for grain dealers to buy maize from farmers at not less than 500/= per Kilogram.
Addressing the media at the Uganda Media Center , the Minister for Finance planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaijja said government will not directly buy the maize from farmers as it was reported by the Minister for Trade and Cooperative Amelia Kyambadde but it will support the private sector to buy the grain.
“Given the low price on maize, the government of Uganda together with the Bank of Uganda, the Grain Council of Uganda and Commercial Banks has therefore initiated measures to mop up excess maize grain using the Agriculture Credit Facility. This intervention will enable farmers across the country to sell their maize stocks at not less than Ugx 500 per kilogram” He explained.
Under the government initiative, government will avail shillings 100 Billion for grain finance through the banking system at a maximum rate of 15% per annum to enable the purchase of grain by any individual Uganda trade , members of the grain Council of Uganda and Cooperative Unions across the country.
Under the system, Commercial Banks will disburse up to Uganda shillings 5 billion within 7 working days after receipt of eligible loan applications for loans.
Who is legible for the loan? According to the Minister the funds will be accessible to all interested traders in maize business who have the requisite storage facilities , cleaning and drying facilities in order to allow the grain to be stored for at least 6 months when the prices are expected to recover.
Government’s decision to intervene comes at a time when farmers across the country are decrying the very low prices for their maize, which have, on average, fallen to sh200 per kilo. The fall in prices is usually attributed to bumper harvests across the country.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO