According to various Research reports by stakeholders, over 80% of the labour force in Uganda is in the agriculture sector,the numerous challenged they encounter to ensure they are food secure until the next harvest notwithstanding.. A number of reports indicate that farmers labor for months with the primitive hand hoes to till, plant and weed crops while relying on unpredictable weather conditions,and go ahead to encounter the challenges of post-harvest handling which reduce both the quality and quantity of the produce especially among the grain farmers. This often has resulted into selling off their produce immediately upon harvesting hence limiting their bargaining power-as usually they sell in desparacy. However, in Rwenzori region, KRC and Surmalitain Purse have teamed up with World Food Program to provide alternatives which could help farmers to reduce grain loss due to poor post-harvest handling practices as well as enable farmers improve on grain household incomes by ensuring they got a better price for the quality grains stored for relatively a long period of time. Among the alternatives, are the plastic metalic silos which have been interoduced to farmers at a subsidised price.The project is also in partnerhsip with Post Bank A case in point is in Rwamwaja refugee settlement area where both the refugees and the hosting community are beneficiaries. While in Bigoro village in Rwamwanja this writer witnessed women as early as 11:00am coming and asking the KRC project officer at what time their silos would arrive as they waited with their money to pay for the silos. However the biggest issue remains as to why would these farmers wait for the whole day to pay for the silos? Is it because these farmers have a lot of money, yet majority are basically maize producers often sold at less than five hundred shillings (0.13 dollars). When this writer probed further, he was informed that the power of information by CSOs like KRC and world Food Program had done a lot to transform farmers’ practices. These farmers have been made aware of the importance of the silos in improving livelihood in terms of food security and improved household incomes. Therefore there is need for a deliberate effort to inform farmers about silos and how they can easily access them. This will make farmers become more productive amidst the other challenges earlier highlighted.

Title: Farmers embrace better practices for grain post-harvest handling

Author: Hyeroba Godfrey

Category: KRC Newsletter

Publish Date: 2016-02-12

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