Maize price drop 'could threaten' food security

Agriculture
Maize price drop 'could threaten' food security
Maize

Food rights activists have warned of an impending increase or even scarcity of maize flour and related products on the market due to a significant decline in maize farm gate prices.

The low pricing has left farmers disheartened, as they grapple with substantial losses over the past two months.

The cost of maize grain per kilogram has plummeted to between Shs400 and Shs500 from the Shs800 recorded during the previous harvest period.

This dramatic dip means that farmers now require 2000 kilograms of maize to yield one million shillings, prompting some to consider abandoning maize cultivation in favor of alternative cash crops.

Judith Nabimanya, a programme officer at Seatini Uganda, has been on the ground listening to farmers' stories, which are filled with pain and despair as they struggle to afford basic necessities like sugar and soap amidst the economic downturn.

"The farmers' stories are nothing short of pain and despair," Nabimanya emphasized.

David Kabanda, the executive director of the Centre for Food and Adequate Rights, acknowledged the disparity between the plummeting farm gate prices and the rising costs at milling centers.

He stressed the urgent need for government intervention to address the looming crisis.

"While the farm gate prices are at their lowest, prices at milling centers are on the rise," Kabanda noted.

Experts recommend adopting agro-economic practices and proactive measures at the individual farmer level to mitigate the impact of fluctuating prices.

However, concerns persist that continued challenges in accessing markets and declining profitability may drive more farmers to abandon maize cultivation altogether, exacerbating food security issues in the country.

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