MUBENDE —President Yoweri Museveni has held a meeting with farmers’ representatives and stakeholders from the districts of; Mubende, Kibaale, Kyankwanzi, Kagadi, and Kasanda.
The discussion was centered on maize production and how farmers can achieve high and quality yields.
“We have a small market for maize, nonetheless, we still buy some maize flour from abroad because our people are not grinding the maize to required standards,” he said.
In 2017/18, he said Uganda spent $54m dollars on over 50,000 tones of maize flour imports; and about $26m on importing 1000 tones of cereal or maize products.
This is the same that is happening to sugar, Uganda imports certain sugar products because “we are only manufacturing sugar for taking tea. In the end we have too much sugar locked up in stores”.
On average, the president said farmers in this region produce about 7 bags of maize per acre adding that if they use fertilisers and irrigation, they will be able to produce about 36 bags per acre.
This is however, he says, so low compared to a maize farmer in Brazil who will produce 50 bags for the same piece of land in their worst harvest.
“We are waking up; we are going to handle issues of fertilisers for farmers.”
Government recently confirmed plans rolling out a system where farmers will be supported directly by the Uganda Development Bank.
This Bank will offer small interest loans to farmers and Ugandans investing in industries as priority.
Museveni said government doesn’t want farmers to end up borrowing at high interest rates from banks and money lenders that will harass them, because such things disrupt them hence end up losing quality on production because these farmers are busy operating on pressure.