BUKWO – Maize farmers in Bukwo district are struggling to pool resources together to buy machinery that would enable them add value to their maize.
The farmers under Kapsukwar Farmers’ SACCO, totaling about 220 in number have attained the capacity over time to produce and bulk well above 800 tons of maize every season, which they sell locally within the Elgon region and Kenya.
Doing this trade every season, the SACCO has developed the need to add value to the business, producing and selling finished products that would earn the entity more profits.
The Chairperson of the SACCO’s advisory Committee Elijah Masika Ndinyo told theCooperator that after sustaining production for a long time, they would want to start adding value to the product and enable them to earn more money.
“We are able to produce well above 800 tons of maize, bulk it and sell, so we think if we can also add value to the maize, and sell finished products to our buyers in Sebei and Kenya as well,” Ndinyo told theCooperator in Bukwo.
He said the SACCO has requested government through the Operation Wealth Creation [OWC] to avail them with a milling machine, but to no avail, which has been a source of frustration to the committee.
Ndinyo says with the milling machine, the group can produce maize flour for sale, provide employment to the youth, but also improve people’s household incomes.
Within the SACCO, the farmers are able to produce large quantities of maize, to sustain the production chain for a long time, after acquiring low interest loans from the SACCO.
Ndinyo also reveals that the number of farmers requesting for loans has grown to 184, and is expected to growth further, which he says shows that production is likely to increase in the near future.
Members are given fertilizers and one bag of fertilizer weighing at least 40 kilogrammes, and are required to return at least three bags of maize at the harvest.
“We give our members one bag of fertilizer, and they pay us at least three bags of maize in return when they harvest,” he says.
He adds that the entity is working on acquiring several partnerships that would help them get more services that can help the SACCO grow.
He mentions that such entities like The Uhuru Institute for Social Development [TUI] which offers skills training in management and financial literacy would be an added benefit to the members.
The SACCO based in Bukwo town draws its members from as far as Kween district, Tingey County, Kongasis, Bukwo, and neighbouring Kenya, with a relative number of about 360 members.
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