A Ugandan Woman Member of Parliament Robinah Nabbanja has asked the Government to fast track the operationalization of the Contingency Fund in order to minimize losses in agriculture sector.
She said they mainly result from low prices of the produces.
“We need the government to fast track the Contingency Fund in order to protect our farmers from price volatility,” said Nabbanja who represents Kakumiro District Women in Parliament.
Using the Contingency Fund, the government will buy the agricultural produces from farmers at a reasonable price or give them small compensation for the loss they have incurred as result of selling their produces at cheaper prices due to bumper harvest.
Contingency Fund Reserves are set aside for extraordinary expenses resulting from a possible business interruption or disaster.
Nabbanja said the Government, in the Financial Year 2018/2019 did not allocate money for Contingency Fund thus the need for its allocation in the coming Financial Year 2019/2020.
The legislator also want government to support farmers to establish storage facilities like silos where they can keep their produces as they wait for market prices to stabilize.
Currently, the price for maize is between Ush250 -300 per kilogram in most parts of the country. Like in Hoima District the price for maize is at Ugx300 similar price to that in Busia.
According to Agro- Business dealers, the price decline for maize across the country is attributed to good harvest which most farmers registered during the season for both national and even across the region of the East African Community.
David Isoba a Maize Dealer in Jinja says they are not accessing many regional markets for maize such as Rwanda and Kenya due to grain surplus which resulted from Bumper harvest.
“It’s not only Ugandan farmers being affected by bumper harvest even in Rwanda the price for most cereals has gone down. Farmers need to store their produce and sale when the market has stabilized,” Isoba told East African Business Week.
The comment by legislator, Nabbanja comes at a time when Uganda’s parliament has asked Government to Intervene over the falling prices for maize.
However, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabairwa said they cannot intervene in setting prices for Agricultural produces since the economy had been liberalized.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO