Cooperatives & Communities

Butaleja rice farmers urged to join SACCOs

BUTALEJA – Rice farmers in Butaleja district have been urged to join Savings and Credit Cooperatives Organisations [SACCOs]  if they are to improve their household incomes.

The manager Doho Farmers’ SACCO in Butaleja district, Esther Gimbo said if all rice framers joined SACCOs they would have enough savings that would be used to provide cheap loans to boost production, adding that joining SACCOs would also help farmers get better markets for their produce.

“Most of our rice farmers fail to get good markets for their produce because they are not members of cooperatives,” she said.

Gimbo said cooperatives are the best way to protect farmers from exploitation by middlemen, adding that the cooperatives also attract government funding.

She made the remarks on Monday while addressing Doho Farmers’ SACCO members at this year’s Annual General Meeting [AGM] held at the SACCO’s head office in Nampologoma trading centre, Mazimasa Sub-county, Butaleja district.

One of the goals listed in the SACCO’s strategic plan [2015/2017], is to contribute to poverty alleviation among their members by providing financial services on a sustainable basis to farmers.

During the AGM, excelling members were awarded prizes. Gimbo said they awarded the winners for their efforts towards supporting the growth of the SACCO.

Those who went home with gifts included; Gessa Kabasa, the former chairman of Doho Irrigation Farmers Cooperative society [DIFACOS], and Jackson Pabire and Ayub Wasige, the current DIFACOS chairperson. Over 10 gifts were given out to different people.

Doho Farmers’ SACCO is one of the fastest-growing SACCOs in Butaleja district, according to officials.

Targeting mainly the 4,500 small-scale rice farmers within the Doho Irrigation Scheme, the SACCO with financial, logistical, and capacity support from Rikolto has since 2014 been extending affordable credit and extension services to farmers, enhancing productivity and improving the standards of living for the beneficiaries and their families.

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